- Southeastern Grocers announced earlier this week the debut of its first alcohol-focused format.
- Called WDs Wine, Beer & Liquor, the stand-alone liquor concept opened Wednesday in Jacksonville, Florida, and features a “Beer Cave,” a wine tasting station offering 10 free samples and supplies like meat, cheeses and dips to craft a charcuterie board, according to an emailed press release.
- Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket, is the latest grocery chain to open its own alcohol-focused format as adult beverage sales boom during the pandemic.
Southeastern Grocers' new alcohol format may be the start of a new revenue stream for the grocery chain.
Shawn Sloan, regional vice president for Southeastern Grocers, told reporters on a media tour that the store is a "test-and-learn environment" and that initial feedback has been positive, the Jacksonville Daily Record reported. “We do intend to take this further," he said.
While Southeastern Grocers has previously opened alcohol stores next door to Winn-Dixie supermarkets, the WDs Wine, Beer & Liquor is a three-minute drive from the Winn-Dixie on University Boulevard in Jacksonville.
The store, which is located in the home city of Southeastern Grocers, highlights local offerings, including 73 Florida-made beers, and sells charcuterie items and cigars. The store carries more than 1,700 fine wines including 700 imported selections; more than 500 varieties of beer; and more than 1,400 spirits.
In one section, shoppers can find BOGO wine, while another area has "Now Trending" options with "buzz-worthy brands." The selections range from lower-priced offerings to premium brands. The store also has a mixology section with mixers and utensils for crafting cocktails. There's a seating area for tastings and events, the press release said.
While the pandemic has boosted alcohol sales, plans for WDs Wine, Beer & Liquor started well before then, per the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Other grocers have also invested more recently in their alcohol stores and rolled out new formats. Hy-Vee announced in August plans to open its new format called Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits in several markets across Iows and Nebraska. Meanwhile, Food Lion welcomed in the winter its second liquor outlet, which is adjacent to one of its grocery stores, in Clover, South Carolina, more than five years after its first liquor store debuted nearby.