Goody Goody has already expanded into Tarrant County with three stores, at I-20 and Hulen and 6393 Camp Bowie Blvd., and 4701 Colleyville Blvd., and is building a 39,000-square-foot warehouse off SE Loop 820 near Lake Arlington to handle its wholesale business to local restaurants, bars, hotels and clubs. Earlier this year, Goody Goody bought Centennial's wholesale operations, said Joe Jansen, Goody Goody's president.
Three years ago, Goody Goody bought 3 acres at the southeast corner of Cooks Lane and Interstate 30 in east Fort Worth for a location. But those plans changed as the retailers opted to expand first in other areas, Jansen said.
Last year, when Colleyville voters agreed to allow package liquor sales, Jansen said it was important to get a store opened there, which he located in a strip center on Texas 26. He also built a warehouse in Collin County to handle demand from a growing Dallas market. Now, Jansen said he has two stores under construction in Houston and plans a third to go head-to-head with Spec's on its home turf.
"Events have dictated what we've done," Jansen said. "If [Spec's] is going to come to Dallas, I'm going to Houston."
He may also have to reconsider the Cooks Lane location. Spec's plans to move into a former Office Depot off Eastchase Parkway and I-30, which relocated to a different spot in the shopping center.
There's an app for that
Trone said the competition and strong demographics attracted Maryland-based Total Wine to Texas. In addition to Fort Worth, it opened a store near Northpark Center off Central Expressway in Dallas in May, also in a former Office Max. The two stores are among 11 being opened nationwide this year. The chain was founded in 1991 and operates 86 stores in 14 states.
The company also has stores in California and Trone said he sees that state and Texas becoming the chain's No. 1 and No. 2 markets, respectively.
"Clearly, Texans enjoy a drink once in a while," Trone said. "We've got a couple of deals in San Antonio also. Those won't open up there until next year."
Total Wine has built its niche, though, on having well-trained store associates and educating the consumer on products, Trone said. The store has a classroom, with a bar setting, which it opens for groups to use and where it hosts events.
"The people are our real key. We do a tremendous amount of training," Trone said. "We think that makes a big difference."
Employees have smartphones with an app to help recommend a wine if a customer doesn't know what they want, and two iPads are in the store for customers to research wine recommendations. Customers can e-mail themselves information from the iPad, including a picture of the bottle they've selected.
Room for more
Some smaller local players are also expanding. The Hakemy family is opening Liquor Depot in a former Sav-A-lot store at 2400 Pioneer Parkway in Pantego.
The company has a store in Roanoke, and seven others throughout the area. It also operates eight convenience store and gas station operations, which sell alcohol. The 18,000-square-foot Pantego store will also handle its wholesale business in Tarrant County.
Yousof Hakemy, a partner in the family-run business, said the Pantego site is the first location in the Arlington area where it could sell liquor. Arlington only permits package sales of beer and wine, but Pantego voters in May approved the sale of liquor for off premise consumption. The store is not far from Centennial-owned stores on Pioneer Parkway in Dalworthington Gardens and Arlington.
"Low price, we think we'll do better than the big guys," Hakemy said.
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