Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 30,600 beer, wine, and liquor stores in the US sell alcoholic beverages to individuals and businesses. They are the third tier in the three-tier system of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Seventeen US states operate state-controlled liquor stores, known as Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores.

Big Box Store Competition

Supermarkets and convenience stores that are permitted to market and sell alcohol have several advantages over liquor stores.

Regulations Affect Operations

Alcohol retailers are one of the most tightly regulated retail industries.

Industry size & Structure
Industry Forecast
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores Industry Growth
Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

Recent Developments

Apr 8, 2024 - Payrolls Rose in 2023
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment by beer, wine, and liquor stores grew 2.6% in December compared to a year ago after rising 3.1% in the previous annual comparison. Average industry wages were $17.43 per hour in December, a 1% year-over-year change, after spiking to over $18 per hour in August, BLS data show. Last year, rising consumer spending and producer prices for beer, wine, and liquor retailers helped offset higher payroll costs.
  • Sales of America’s biggest whiskey brand, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, have been falling for months, and maker Brown-Forman is forecasting a sluggish US whiskey business for at least the next year, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. Whiskey makers’ US revenue – which soared during the pandemic along with revenue of other spirits makers – fell 2.2% in 2023 to $12.3 billion, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, while revenue was flat overall for makers of spirits. Inflation and high-interest rates have some consumers spending less on alcohol while others are reducing their alcohol consumption for health reasons, according to WSJ. Categories with year-over-year case volume growth in the eight weeks ended February 24 include tequila and cordials, while gin, brandy, rum, and cognac each posted declines in case volumes, a Bump Williams analysis of Nielsen data cited by WSJ shows.
  • In a blow to home alcohol delivery, Uber has shuttered its alcohol delivery app Drizly, which it acquired for $1.1 billion in 2021, The Wall Street Journal reports. Uber bought Drizly, founded in 2012 after pandemic lockdowns boosted alcohol-delivery sales. Drizly currently delivers beer, wine, and spirits in the 36 states where it’s legal and partners with retailers in the US and Canada. Drizly’s home-delivery service has failed to catch on with consumers in the 36 states in which it operates, capturing only a tiny portion of overall consumption, according to WSJ. Other challenges faced by the company included The Federal Trade Commission’s order last year that Drizly implement new data security measures after hackers stole information about 2.5 million customers in 2020. Drizly shut down at the end of March, and Uber said it plans to incorporate alcohol delivery into Uber Eats.
  • According to the US Chamber of Commerce, small business owners are feeling more optimistic about the future but cognizant of the challenges ahead. The top five concerns for small businesses – including mom-and-pop liquor stores – are inflation, rising interest rates, access to credit, hiring and employee retention, and supply chain disruptions related to global events. Inflation tops the list of concerns because of its disproportionate impacts on small businesses, which have less leverage when it comes to buying power than their larger competitors. According to Chase’s Midyear Business Leaders Outlook, nearly 80% of small business owners say their expenses have increased by 6% or more. Small businesses also struggle to compete with their larger counterparts when it comes to pay and benefits. The Q3 2023 Small Business Index found that more than half (56%) of small businesses say it’s challenging to keep up with their employees’ salary expectations or demands.
Get A Demo

Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
check out Vertical IQ today.

Request A Demo