| Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado|
Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado is one of the state's largest wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverage distributors. In fact, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado is growing rapidly and is poised to record stronger growth in the next few years, according to a recent survey in Impact Newsletter, a publication of M. Shanken Communications, Inc.
Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), is the leading nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor in the United States known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service, creative marketing programs and partnerships. The Company is also known for its best-in-industry professional and well-trained sales, operational and support staff, its ongoing investments in and contributions to hospitality and beverage education for its staff, its customers and to many national educational institutions. In addition, Southern is justly respected for its deeply held belief in the importance of giving back, for being a socially responsible corporate citizen and for making generous contributions to national, state and local charitable organizations.
With approximately 320 sales and support staff now working statewide, operating chiefly from one distribution center in Denver, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado marshals a state-of-the-art distribution, marketing and merchandising network. The company's modern Denver facility is home to its various statewide sales, executive, administrative, information management, educational, transportation and business operations. The complex is dedicated to provide first-class customer service for on- and off-premise accounts, as well as for brand owners and suppliers.
Supported by these impressive operational capabilities, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado offers timely deliveries to the state's hotels, resorts and independent restaurant and retail accounts from Grand Junction in the west to Boulder in the east.
Mr. Richard Crossland, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado, explains that the parent company's Rocky Mountain operation is the result of the acquisition of a Colorado-based distributorship in early 2001.
Mr. Crossland, a 20-year-plus veteran of the wine and spirits business, comments on the changes that took place following the merger, "With regard to our greatest asset, our people, we quickly realized the wealth of their experience, and their dedication to, and knowledge of, the marketplace. We also communicated the “Southern-style" of great sales support. With regard to the operation, our approach was similar; we simply continued building on a strong foundation while utilizing Southern's advanced technology and information systems, all of which are dedicated to providing excellence in customer service.”
The merger also resulted in a number of practical changes, Mr. Crossland explains, “We created a host of new sales and educational positions to support our spirit, wine and fine wine brands and lines; we re-organized the internal structure of our sales force to better serve our customers; we reconfigured each salesperson's selling area and client list to help them sell more effectively; we installed a state-of-the-art information system; we refined and improved our customer delivery practices; we invested heavily in manpower and educational and product-knowledge support for our entire on-premise sales force and interested on- and off-premise customers; we inaugurated a host of new internal and external special events to boost our statewide profile; and, last but not least, we are more involved than ever in a wide range of community affairs both in Denver and across the entire state.”
Mr. Crossland previously served as Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico. Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado currently practices a number of activities that first proved successful in other markets, for example, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado has expanded its merchandising duties and coverage in order to “be present and supportive of the Southern Wine & Spirits portfolio during the state's peak selling times and respond to our customers' unique selling requirements.” Mr. Crossland also oversaw a complete revamping of the company's warehouse operations, utilizing the operational skills honed in several other Southern Wine & Spirits markets.
The desire to provide “Superior Customer Service” prompted the changes undertaken in the last 18 months. Mr. Crossland says, “We are manic about customer service and we want to make sure that we exceed the needs of our customers.”
The evidence that combining generous measures of local talent with the company's impressive technological, administrative and on-premise sales prowess is succeeding, is the dramatic growth of Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado's market share over the last 18 months. These sales gains are from winning new business and new lines from brand owners, as well as strong organic growth in Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado's existing wine and spirits portfolio.
Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado is passionately committed to, and confident of, winning more business in the future. Bullish about the Colorado market, Mr. Crossland notes that the state's population is growing rapidly, that its demographic profile--young, highly educated and motivated to work--is tremendously encouraging; and the fact that the state offers terrific year-round recreational opportunities will no doubt be a boon to the future of the state's hospitality, tourism and retail businesses.
Looking ahead, Mr. Crossland predicts: “Thanks to our obsession with serving our customers, we are poised to grab greater market share. I believe Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado will continue to grow its leadership position in the state. Here in Colorado, we are fielding the best people; we are proven brand builders; a great national company--Southern Wine & Spirits of America--supports us and, last but not least, we have terrific relations with all our great suppliers. These are the attributes that typically bring our customers, our suppliers and our operations greater sales and success.”
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. In addition, Southern operates in Minnesota through a joint venture with J.J. Taylor Distributing Company. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs nearly 14,500 team members. Southern urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information about Southern and its responsible consumption program, see: http://www.southernwine.com.