Private Brand beer wine and liquor has been a recurring theme over the last few months with retailers across the country actively growing the category. 7-Eleven, Sam’s, Walmart, Target and Costco are just a few of the retailers to serve up an adult beverage.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper yesterday published the story, “Costco has a big stake in the liquor game” focusing on Costco’s efforts to privateize liquor sales and to grow the Kirkland brand. The following a edited excerpt:
It’s no secret that Costco Wholesale Corp. is an enthusiastic cheerleader for privatizing liquor sales.
Cheerleader is probably an understatement. The bulk-retailer is more like a head coach or a running back, pouring thousands of dollars and resources into an initiative that would cut Washington state out of the liquor game.
The Issaquah-based company spearheaded a signature gathering campaign for Initiative 1100, one of two November ballot measures that will ask voters to let retailers sell spirits.
A long line of products sold at Costco stores, from coffee to toilet paper, are branded with Costco’s private label: Kirkland Signature. And in many states, you can add liquor to the Kirkland Signature line.
Over the last several years, Costco has added to its Kirkland Signature line — but also developed co-branded products with distillers.
“The company introduced a Kirkland signature vodka about five years ago — a first step toward carving out a bigger niche in the liquor market. Its most recent addition is tequila, which Benoliel said is a big seller in some regions.
“It’s very popular in California,” he said.
Costco was instrumental in gathering signatures for I-1100. It takes just over 241,000 signatures to get a measure on the ballot in Washington, and the campaign gathered nearly 400,000.
Growing Private Brands takes many shapes and active lobbying is the sign of a retailer committed to growing its business and its brands.