Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) is set to enter the New York market through a partnership with Opici Family Distributing. RNDC is the second largest wine & spirits wholesaler in the country overall, with projected 2021 revenue of $12.5 billion. The New York market is currently dominated by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Empire Merchants who have projected revenues in New York of $2.1 billion and $1.8 billion respectively. This move is certain to impact the wholesale distribution market in New York as RNDC seeks to gain market share. We’ll have to keep a close eye on them and try to use this to the advantage of retailers.
The entry of RNDC into the marketplace is the latest and most significant change to the wholesale wine and spirits business in recent days, but it’s one of numerous changes that have occurred recently. Another significant change has been the full throated embrace of wine and spirits products by the franchised beer wholesalers. In just a few short years they’ve gone from being legally prohibited from selling wine & spirits to the distributors of some of the hottest products on the market. The move by beer wholesalers into the market complements the developments at the major brewers who all have “new product” divisions, but franchised beer wholesalers are not limited in their product offerings to the major brewers’ new products.
While Southern and Empire will continue to have exclusive arrangements with the major brands for years to come, these developments open the door to increased competition and increased choices when you seek to purchase wine and spirits. That doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our advocacy efforts. We continue to fight for your right to buy wine & spirits at the liquor store or through a purchasing group and we’re pressing the Legislature and the Liquor Authority to reign in split case fees and delivery charges that add substantial costs to your bottom line. Stay tuned!