Costco #1 in U.S. Wine Sales

May 29, 2002

Costco claims to be America’s largest wine retailer. Its sales of wine grew to more than half a billion dollars in 2001, in what the Wine Institute reports as a $19.8 billion business, including retail and restaurant sales.

While other large chain retailers like Sam’s Club have moved into the wine business, none have given wines the kind of reverence and dedication that Costco has, reports The New York Times. None have wine experts such as Mr. Andrew, who is preparing to take his exam for the Master of Wine certification, a degree held by fewer than 20 people in America. He writes a bimonthly column on wine in The Costco Connection, a magazine that is sent to 3.5 million of its members, listing brands sold at the stores.

Moderator Comment: What wine and other alcoholic beverage
retailing lessons can be learned from the Costco experience? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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