Companies in this industry sell beer, wine, and liquor products from physical retail establishments. No major companies dominate; in the US, individual states have different laws regulating liquor stores, complicating the ability to form national chains.
Personal income, consumer tastes, and entertainment trends drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and competitive pricing. Large companies offer wide selections and deep discounts, but small companies compete by offering specialized merchandise, providing superior customer service, or serving a local market. The US industry is highly fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 25% of sales.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Distilled spirits (liquors) account for about 40% of sales, wine for about 30%, and beer and ale for about 25%. Other products include groceries, cigarettes, and cigars. State laws dictate the type of alcohol sold in a particular venue. In some states, only liquor stores can sell hard liquor.