Total Wine near me in Tennessee can add to sites in Knoxville, Brentwood

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Wine retail giant Total Wine & More is considering an expansion into Tennessee. The Maryland-based retailer has 229 stores in 27 states, including Tennessee locations in Brentwood and Knoxville, and hopes to open new stores in the voluntary state.

“It’s no secret that there are customers who appreciate fine wine, beer and spirits in major Tennessee metropolitan areas,” said Edward Cooper, vice president of public affairs for Total Wine. & More. “We would like to have the possibility, at least, of being able to serve them.”

Total Wine & More, founded in 1991 by brothers David and Robert Trone, offers a wide range of bottles in large display cases. Each store stocks thousands of wines, beers, and distilled spirits at prices ranging from $4 to $8,000 and typically has between 55 and 75 employees. The stores regularly occupy 20,000 to 35,000 square feet. The Brentwood store, for example, is located in a former Office Depot. The company’s first Tennessee store was in Knoxville.

Cooper said the large storefronts provide a distinct shopping experience from smaller independent stores. The average customer shops at his store three to six times a year, he said.

“It’s a bigger store. It’s a bigger basket,” Cooper said. “(Customers) are usually stocking up or getting ready for some sort of event.”

Piper Elrod talks to a customer about products inside the Total Wine & More store in Brentwood, Tennessee on Friday, March 11, 2022.

The stores also host events for wine lovers, from tastings to wine and beer classes with brewers and distillers. When the in-store “wine education center” classrooms are not in use, they are available to rent free of charge for use by community organizations.

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“It’s not just good business. It’s just good community relations work,” Cooper said. “We want to be actively involved in the communities we serve.”

A view of whiskey brands inside the Total Wine & More store in Brentwood, Tennessee on Friday, March 11, 2022.

Change in law

Current Tennessee law prohibits any owner from holding more than two “package retail store licenses” to sell liquor. This means that a company like Total Wine & More cannot open a third site without changing the law.

“We don’t think that’s true. Tennessee has always seemed like a free market state to us,” Cooper said. “Why limit the number of licenses an individual or entity can have? »

In 2021, State Rep. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, introduced SB 413. As amended, the bill would increase the retail store license cap from two licenses to three. The bill has been deferred to the 2022 legislative session and awaits further consideration.

It wouldn’t be the first time the company has pushed for legislative change in Tennessee. In 2018, the company was named a party in a case before the United States Supreme Court regarding residency requirements for liquor licenses. The Court struck down a state law that required liquor license applicants to live in the state for two years before obtaining a license, with Judge Samuel Alito writing in the majority opinion that the law ” flagrantly favored the residents of the state”.

Cooper said cities like Memphis or Nashville could be candidates for new Total Wine & More stores if state law allows the expansion.

“At the end of the day, you can’t just drop a Total Wine & More on every corner,” Cooper said. “We’re in many ways limited as to where we can go, and that’s fine. No one is setting out to build a whole bunch of stores that are going to cannibalize each other.

Cole Villena covers Williamson County at The Tennessean, part of the USA Today – Tennessee network. Contact Cole at [email protected] or 615-925-0493. Follow Cole on Twitter at @ColeVillena and on Instagram at @CVinTennessee.

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