Wine Wholesalers Announced that YOU Are the Enemy
There is a simple way of determining in the wine industry and any other industry or situations, who your opponents are: Line up potential opponents and ask them what they oppose. It’s direct, simple and lacks provocation.
Recently, the only national association of wine and spirit wholesalers provided a list of those things they oppose, making it a simple chore to determine if wine and spirit wholesalers are your opponents/enemy.
At the recently concluded Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America convention, the organization’s CEO, Craig Wolf, presented a handy little list of those things that “challenge” wholesalers. See if you or your business or your sector of the alcohol beverage industry is on that list.
“The middle tier is facing greater challenges today than we ever have before.Big retailers are leading a new wave of litigation designed to break down prohibitions on interstate shipping of alcohol to consumers. Amazon and other large retailers are looking to change the rule in order to buy and sell products outside the three-tier system and dominate the marketplace to the detriment of independent retailers of beverage alcohol. RETAILERS—CHECK!!
“Brewpubs, craft distilleries, small wineries and now even big breweries are seeking expanded retail sales and self-distribution rights. Large distilled spirit suppliers, in the interests of equal treatment of beer, wine and spirits, and a number of small craft distillers, now are contemplating seeking direct consumer sales of their products.” CRAFT BREWERS, CRAFT DISTILLERIES, SMALL WINERIES, LARGE BREWERS, LARGE DISTILLERS—CHECK!!
“Consumers are increasingly desiring the convenience of online ordering and rapid home delivery, and believe the tiered system of independent retailers, wholesalers and suppliers and other important regulatory controls are archaic and anachronistic. And they also believe that legitimate and time-tested regulations are impediments to the on-demand economy and need to be reconsidered.” CONSUMERS—CHECK!!
“There is today a coordinated effort at almost every level to dismantle a regulatory structure that is without question the safest, most accountable, efficient and consumer-friendly and profitable system for the distribution of beverage alcohol in the world today.” EVERYONE AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE INDUSTRY — CHECK!!
It must be tough when the entire alcohol beverage industry, including the end-user of the product, is arrayed against you, but that appears to be what the wine and spirit wholesalers see. On the other hand, you have to ask yourself why your interests are aligned against everyone else in your industry. Is it possible that your interests are so singular and so detrimental to the rest of the alcohol beverage industry that you are the heart of the problem?
No one doubts the value of box movers. Wine, beer, and spirits are heavy and you need brute strength in this industry. But if you look closely at what the wholesalers believe they are fighting against it is in almost every case the following: greater consumer access to products and the legally mandated use of wholesalers. Let me put this another way, what the wholesalers are defending is legally instituted protectionism and bans on consumers accessing the products they want.
Given this, it’s sort of surprising the list of “challenges” the wholesalers believe they face isn’t substantially larger.