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July 27, 2017
‘Gold standard': Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Photo: Mark Wemple

Some of products that Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits wholesales.

Florida's 350 Biggest Companies 2017

‘Gold standard': Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Mike Vogel | 6/28/2017

Last year, in a move little noted outside the beverage industry press, Coral Gables-based liquor maker Bacardi shifted most of its national distribution, $1-billion worth of business, to a longstanding Miami wholesaler known as Southern Wine & Spirits.

“Suddenly that whole business moved over. It was a big blow to the competition,” says Harry Kohlmann, CEO of Park Street, a Miami-based advisory and services firm to the spirits industry.

The Bacardi announcement went over public relations newswires just an hour and a half after family-owned Southern announced it was merging with a rival wholesaler, family-owned, Texas-based Glazer’s. The deal added seven states to Southern’s portfolio and gave Southern, already the industry’s leading player, even more heft.

Bacardi’s acknowledgement of the dominance of the new Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits was confirmed further in January. Campari America, the U.S. subsidiary that controls Wild Turkey, Skyy Spirits, Grand Marnier and other brands, handed Southern 14 markets on top of the ones Southern already managed for it.

Southern serves as middleman between the wineries and distilleries that produce alcoholic beverages and the retailers, bars and restaurants where consumers buy them. If you imbibe wine or spirits in Florida or 43 other states, you’re likely drinking a product that Southern has handled. Depending on who is measuring, Southern’s 31.8% market share in the $90-billion wine and spirits wholesale industry is more than that of its next two to three competitors combined. It’s the nation’s 17th-largest private company and Florida’s third.

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: Lee Brian Schrager; Jay Weiss;  Harvey Chaplin; Florida International University

 

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