Just in last week, ex-ceo of Walmart told NBWA it would be expanding craft, Total Wine and More ceo David Trone said craft "on fire" in his stores and Buffalo Wild Wings posted record results in qtr after it expanded craft offerings. Not bad. That's just the world's largest retailer, the largest alc-bev only retailer and the hottest casual dining chain. Collectively, their comments suggest far more of a beginning than an ending, that's for sure.
"Wal Mart gets crafty with bigger beer selection," headlined Ad age, calling it another sign that "fast growing segment is going mainstream." Speaking at NBWA convention, ex-Walmart ceo Lee Scott (who still serves on board) said "we've got to make more space, we have to have more representation on assortment," i.e. more craft beer. "You can't take an area where people are moving to craft and 'under-assort yourself because the person who is buying craft beer and wants that assortment will drive to Kroger and pay the 15% more," Lee said.
Fast growing retailer Total Wine and More will crash thru $1 bil sales barrier this yr. A typical TWM store carries 2500 beer SKUs. And its craft beer sales are up 40%, said ceo David Trone in speech to CLE Intl Wine, Beer and Spirits Law meeting last week in Boston. That's excluding larger craft brands like Sierra and Boston.
Buffalo Wild Wings reported $$ sales up 31% to $197 mil and same store sales up 5.7% in company owned restaurants and 4.2% in franchisees. Earlier this yr, recall that BWW greatly expanded its craft offerings. And this seems to be paying dividends as the star retailer continues to buck the odds in a difficult economic environment.