SWS Breaks Ground for Florida's Largest Beverage Distribution Facility

For Immediate Release                                                             


Contact: Wayne E. Chaplin
President & Chief Operating Officer
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.                                                                                   
Telephone: (305) 625-4171


                
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Announces Ground-Breaking
                Ceremony for Florida’s Largest Beverage Distribution Facility 
                                           in Lakeland on March 18, 2005



New 653,000 Square-Foot Distribution Center to bring State-of-the-Art Operational Capabilities to Southern’s Chain, Retail and Restaurant Customers Across All Florida



MIAMI - March 1, 2005 – Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation's largest wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverage distributor with operations in 19 states, announced it would commence construction of a new 653,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art beverage distribution facility in Lakeland (Polk County), beginning with a blue-ribbon, ground-breaking ceremony on March 18, 2005.

Designed to be the centerpiece of a customer and supplier-focused distribution strategy, this new facility of Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., represents a significant commitment to all of our supply-chain partners, according to Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Construction is expected to be completed on the project by the early fall of this year, Mr. Chaplin added.
Invited guests at the historic ground-breaking ceremony will include Mayor Ralph Fletcher of Lakeland and other distinguished City, County and State officials, according to Mr. Chaplin, who with other senior management will also be in attendance at this historic event.

Mr. Chaplin said: "We are extremely proud to join with Local, County and Elected Dignitaries at this important ground-breaking ceremony. Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, and its parent company, continue to invest in the communities we are privileged to serve. With this new distribution center, our sales, marketing and operational team members count on being even closer to many of our chain and independent retail and restaurant customers in and around Lakeland as well as the entire state. We are confident that with this facility that we will be able to bring unmatched service and distribution capabilities to both our on, off and chain customers as well as our supplier partners, all while continuing to improve our already leading levels of customer service.

Harvey R. Chaplin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., said, “Our Company was founded here in Florida in 1968, and the opening of this new distribution center is a proud moment not only for me personally, and for my family, but also for all our Florida team members. In many ways, our plans not only represent our commitment to establishing a strong foundation for future growth, but at the same time provide the same for our customers and suppliers; all of which, in effect, parallels the strength of our home state Florida and reflects the bullish outlook we foresee in its future.”

Sited near Interstate 4 and about 35 miles from downtown Tampa, the new 80.5-acre beverage distribution center in Lakeland is designed to offer unsurpassed distribution services to the state’s chain and independent on- and off-premise retail customers of Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, which is the state’s largest wine and spirits distributor, according to Steve Power, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with current operations in 12 states and pending acquisitions in 7 states.  The multistate distributor currently operates in:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina; and has pending acquisitions in the additional states of: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.


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