Reader mailbag: biggest wine store in the world

Icosta from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile writes:

Which is the biggest wine store in the world?
Thank you very much!!!!

Wow! Great question!

Of course Costco and Sam’s Club (Wal-Mart) are the largest retailers of wine in the US but their stores could hardly be considered wine stores even though they have some wine in them.

The biggest store that is devoted mostly to wine sales that I have been in has to be Sam’s Wine and Spirits in Chicago (privately owned by the Rosen family, not part of Wal-Mart despite the similarity in names). It’s like an airplane hangar filled with wine and spirits and beer. It’s got 9,500 wine SKUs in 25,000 sq ft and has to be one of the largest in the world if not the biggest. It grossed $60 million in 2004 and the Rosens opened a new location in 2005 and 2006, also in the big box format.

One of the NYC area stores may be as big in revenues but none competes in terms of square footage. Perhaps one in LA? Or a BevMo? Bottle Barn?

Perhaps there are bigger ones outside the US? What do you think? I’m sure whichever wine store it is would love to have bragging rights.

Send in your questions.

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4 Responses to “Reader mailbag: biggest wine store in the world”

  1. How about Applejack in Denver? I’m not sure of the square footage or revenue, but it is pretty impressive.

  2. Very nice anonymous! Whether they are or not they state it on their web site: “Applejack Wine & Spirits is the largest wine, beer and spirits store in the country.”

    Also, I saw this in an unrelated press release today:

    “Costco, the largest wine retailer in the U.S. with wine sales of $728 million in 2005…”

  3. I had a lot of fun being overwhelmed with choices at Applejack during a ski trip earlier this year. Sadly, Atlanta, in spite of having a population of more than 4 million people, and after 10 years of major development and gentrification in intown neighborhoods, we still don’t have any wine stores of significant size. The few small ones near me have good selections and prices but they’re still small. Even worse, as a result of the paucity I am forced to buy some wines through the ‘net but our draconian distributor protection laws severely limits my choices.

    Can someone remind me why I continue to live in Georgia?

  4. Vegas chiming in here!

    Lee’s Discount Wine & Spirits is the biggest retailer of wines in this area. Their “warehouse” store (on Sunset, for those who want to find it) is mind-boggling. While I don’t know if it qualifies as “the biggest,” I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t pretty damned close.


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