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But, here I am … proud owner of a liquor license and a terrific selection of craft beers, pinot noirs and small batch bourbons….
As I walked around with the owner, it became clear that the liquor business was being sold with the building. My college buddies would be so jealous. So, deciding to roll the dice, I made an offer. Instead, the owner accepted my offer…. With the building under contract I began due diligence.
I remember thinking, before I ever contemplated the notion of liquor store ownership, retail liquor stores enjoy a tidy little monopoly. Well, yes and no. The liquor business is highly complex. Retail liquor, at least in Colorado, is a fascinating business.
Huge number of SKUs. The quantities of categories, brands, flavors, price points and size variations are mind-numbing. Talk about Big Data. Liquor distribution is heavily regulated in Colorado with a 3-tier system composed of manufacturers, distributors and retailers; each tier has its own set of rules and requires its own special license with an application paperwork trail that only a lawyer could love.
Inventory is expensive and margins are thin, managing inventory and cash flow is extraordinarily difficult and SKU level demand is nearly impossible to forecast accurately.
This is good by the way. Distributors hold all the power. As a retail liquor store owner I am only allowed to purchase inventory from a licensed distributor. Every licensed distributor has a complete monopoly on every product they sell.
So, any self-respecting liquor store should have various sizes of Jack Daniels on the shelf, right? The only possible way you can get any sort of discount is by purchasing large volumes.
When I learned this was the way the system worked I was stunned. The Budweiser distributor welcomed us to the industry by requiring cash upon delivery for the first 90 days. No day net invoice. Not even a money order. Cash on the barrelhead. We pay hourly employees a decent wage as well.
The store is humming along. We did a good bit of business around the holidays and customer traffic is steady. However, the setup is perfect for an owner-operator. As an owner-operator of a liquor store you have roughly the same job security as a tenured college professor. The store could go under if you fail to compete effectively or if the market for liquor dries up somehow just like a school could close or an academic department could be eliminated.
And, your take-home pay will vary with some years better than others depending on volume. But, so long as you have customers who walk in the door, no one can really take away your job. Sure, I wish the store was a huge cash cow; you know, pay myself a nice salary every month and do whatever I want all day.
Customer service is better. More people have skin in the game and a strong incentive to take care of their stretch of sidewalk in the community.In this extract from his new book, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach. Oct 07, · It has been said, "Not everything that is learned is contained in books." Compare and contrast knowledge gaine Poll: do you agree with this statement," Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all".Status: Resolved.
Sep 13, · REPLY. All I know about getting what you pay for is that my wife is an accountant at a rather large hospital and sees the markup and commissions paid out on the sale of a hearing aid and I can assure you a HUUUUGE amount of what you pay (upwards of 70%) is pure profit baby.
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