Originally published on ShankenNewsDaily.com
With more than $4 billion in beverage alcohol sales last fiscal year, Costco has seen steady annual growth in wine, spirits, and beer, even from a huge base. New stores and new beverage alcohol departments have been added nationally and internationally on a yearly basis. Few retailers can match what Costco is doing, in both sales and scope.
In the U.S., Costco has licenses to sell beer in 458 stores and can sell wine in 448 stores. In addition, 317 stores are licensed to sell spirits. Overseas, the company has an additional 162 licenses for wine and beer retail and 141 licenses for spirits.
Beverage alcohol sales at Costco were $4.4 billion last fiscal year, marking a 6% increase over the year prior. The company is one of the largest wine retailers in the world, with winemaking up roughly half of its total beverage sales—more than $2 billion last fiscal year. Spirits and beer split the remaining half relatively equally.
“We’re committed to the beverage alcohol category,” says Annette Alvarez-Peters, assistant vice president and general merchandise manager for beverage alcohol at Costco. “We show substantial increases and comps year over year. We’re disciplined in our approach to the business. We have new warehouses opening and, as laws have changed, we’ve been able to add beverage alcohol licenses to some existing warehouses.”