Saturday, August 15, 2009
HAND-DELIVERED SOME SHOCK-AND-AWE
Got word today that a wine store chain south of us is being sold to a massive chain from the Great White North. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Liquor Barn (with several stores in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky), is selling out to a Canada-based retailer with stores in British Columbia, Alberta, and Alaska.
What does this mean for us?
Probably nothing in the short-term. The long-term, who knows? I would find it hard to believe that this company would want to come up into Northern Kentucky. Our market is so different from what evidently attracted this conglomerate to Liquor Barn. The Liquor Barn chain is an entirely different animal than at least we are. In its present state, I don't believe Liquor Barn could exist here in NKY, simply because of how aggressive we and our competitors are against Ohio pricing - we are right across the river from a fixed-pricing system (the one in Ohio). But who's to say if that will or will not change.
It will certainly make things more interesting around here.
I don't know what that will mean with regards to the various importers tied up in exclusivity agreements with LB (the ones I bitch about so often), and I don't even know what that is going to mean for LB's current customers.
It was shocking news to say the least. I guess it is a sign that the virus called consolidation is not reserved for the upper two tiers of this business anymore.