Looking into retail Liquor store - Printable Version

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- Wantoopenbusiness - 01-23-2004 04:05 PM

Need some advice on opening a Liquor store in a growing area in need. Want to open a small business and my thoughts are of opening a liquor store there is one package license available in the area of need and growth. Can someone in the business give me some inside or connect me with a source on "How To"
I appreciate it.

Also the average cost of starting a small/Med store.

- wineguruchgo - 01-24-2004 11:13 AM

Hello WTOB,

Welcome to the wine board. With respect of how much money it will take, I'm not sure. Too many variables to consider. If this is something you want to do and you can get the license than go for it. I can't help you with the approx. cost of space and build out.

Yet - what I can offer is that we (my company) opened a restaurant here in IL. in September. We have an 80 bottle list of mostly mid-range wines. Stocking the wines and bar cost us approx. $6,000.00. I'm thinking you will need at least $20K to stock the shelves of the store. I'm probably being conservative here. It really depends on what you are bringing in and how much space you have to fill. No one wants to visit a store with 1/2 empty shelves.

Also, please bear in mind that here in IL, beer is COD. Wine and Liquor bills are due within 30 days, whether or not you sell the product, so you will need to cover the opening order because you are not going to sell all of it within the first 4 weeks.

You need to contact the distributors in your area, after you secure the space and license, and fill out a credit application. If your credit is "iffy" then they may not extend it to you and all will be COD.

There are a lot of variables here, but it's not the worst business to open espically if there is a need for it in your area.

If I can be of more help with the distributor side, just ask.


- micpic8 - 02-13-2004 10:26 AM

Hi!! I run a restaurant in Connecticut and our wine list has appox. 100 - 150 wines. Plus we stock our bar with a good selection of liquors. There are very few items that we bring in by full cases due to keeping inventory dollars down and base on usage. Here in CT we get full case discounts from the distributors. So buying full cases is the way to go if you have the money and space to store it. But with that said you are going to be sitting on that money until you sell it. Our monthly Liquor, Wine and Beer Inventory dollars are approx. $55,000. That is just inventory cost. Good luck!! The idea of a wine shop interests me too!!

- Kcwhippet - 02-13-2004 11:11 AM

Your licensing and other such regulatory questions are best answered by your local authorities. I work at a shop which sells wines, beers and spirits. The sales area of the shop is about 5000 square feet. The total costs to fix up the shop and stock the initial inventory came to about $180,000. Our sales run about $40,000 per week. One thing you have to do is create a business plan and that will require some research on your part - we can't help you with that here. You have to research your local market to determine the demographics and what products are selling. When you've figured out what products you'll need to fill the shop, you have to determine what margins you'll need to make to keep the shop in business (utilities, services, insurance, payroll, your wages, continuing inventory, etc.). It certainly helps if you have some experience in the business or you can rely on the expertise of someone locally who has that experience. There's quite a bit more to do than just having the desire to get into the business. Foodie can probably vouch for that.

[This message has been edited by Kcwhippet (edited 02-13-2004).]

- Thomas - 02-13-2004 01:05 PM

Once you get past the legalities, it's relatively easy to get started (provided you have the money). The real trick is to stay afloat. The market is fickle and subject to every whiff of economic movement one way or the other--especially the wine market.

In addition, price controls by state governments often have the reverse effect, especially when large stores with buying clout dictate to distributors the price they want to pay (the only way they can get a better price is to receive un-invoiced goods). When that happens, the business gets truly dirty, and small shops become prey. That kind of activity is threatening is-wine's survival right now.

And then there are the Costco and Wal-Marts of the USA. If anything kills small business it's their buying power. Do not open a store within 100 miles of one of those things...