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Why no beer only retail chains?

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  • Why no beer only retail chains?

    Why aren't there any multi-unit retail operations specializing in beer in the US?

    Canada has The Beer Store in Ontario with more than 400 locations in that province. There are several regional chains around the country that feature beer and or wine and liquor but none that I know of that do just beer.

    Is this not a retail concept that has potential?
    Grind Modern Burger
    PostModern Brewers
    Boise, ID

  • #2

    I don't know if its really viable or not...

    Beer has some of the lowest markups of any product that you see in a liquor store, takes up more space, and often has some of the lowest turnarounds for sale. For all these reasons, the liquor store model seems to be the bigger success.

    Some liquor stores seem to be have more of a 'beer specialty' side to them than others for sure, but this likely isn't because of maximizing profits and shelf space, its likely because the proprietor loves good beer. From what I've seen, most communities of more than moderate population have a good liquor store or two that has a respectable beer section, and beer enthusiasts tend to gravitate to those locations.

    Maybe a liquor store that promotes itself as THE beer store in town can do well as a chain concept if they offer a full range of products as well, but carrying only beer itself would likely be a death sentenece from a purely business standpoint.


    • #3
      In some towns in NJ, a liquor license may cost $250,00. I'm sure they would want to maximize profit as much as possible.



      • #4
        As far as I can tell, The Beer Store in Ontario is the only way to obtain beer within the province, besides going to a LCBO (Liquour Control Board of Ontario). The differences between the two:

        Beer Store-12 packs and 24 packs, not cold
        LCBO-wine, spirits, beer-individual bottles, cans, 6 packs and I think 12, cold

        On the website, it does state that The Beer Store is owned by Labatt, Molson and Sleeman breweries, but basically total distrabution throughout the province for beer is done by this company, whether it be for retail or commercial sales, and that no beer whether it be micro or macro is refused distrabution.