A Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico
Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico is today one of the state’s largest wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverage distributors. In fact, according to a survey in Impact Newsletter, a publication of M. Shanken Communications, Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico is growing rapidly and is poised to post still stronger gains during the next few years.

Supported by this impressive operational and personnel infrastructure, Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico is able to offer rapid delivery services to the state’s chain and independent retail and restaurant accounts, hotels and resorts from Albuquerque north to Santa Fe on to the Four Corners area, south to the Mexican border and east to Texas.

Mr. Michael Jahn, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona and New Mexico, notes that the Company’s operation is the result of an acquisition of two New Mexican-based distributorships by Southern Wine & Spirits of America in 1999. Noting the strong leadership of Wayne Chaplin and Harvey Chaplin, respectively Southern Wine & Spirits of America’s President and Chief Operating Officer and its Chairman and CEO, Mr. Jahn says: “To me it is very simple, Wayne and Harvey Chaplin have the unique ability to find passionate, motivated people dedicated to this business.”

Noting that he has worked for a number of leading distribution firms during his career, Mr. Jahn added that thanks to the Company’s deep commitment to its employees: “When you walk into a retail store or restaurant, you feel stronger than anyone else because you are part of the Southern Wine & Spirits family. Everyone is so proud to work for Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico.”

Following Mr. Jahn’s appointment in 2005, Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico named Greg Templeton as Vice President, General Sales Manager of the Company. Like Mr. Jahn, Mr. Templeton is also a seasoned drinks industry executive. Together the two executives have continued to build on the Company’s longstanding program of aggressively expanding and improving the sales, marketing and merchandising capabilities of the distribution companies acquired by the Company. In particular, according to Mr. Templeton, new attention and emphasis was immediately given to enhancing the sale and promotion of the Company’s entire wine and spirits portfolio in the rapidly growing on-premise arena.

In addition, Mr. Jahn says: "A host of new sales and educational positions were created to support our spirit, wine and fine wine brands and lines; the internal structure of our entire sales force was reorganized to better serve our customer base.” And in view of improving service to each distinct sales channel in the state, Mr. Jahn says, “Each salesman’s selling area and client list was re-configured to help them sell more effectively.” Proud of the Company’s customer-focused efforts and success in this area, Mr. Jahn adds, “We serve each of our sales channels with the unique requirements that each warrants.”

On the technological front, Mr. Templeton says a number of new programs have been implemented, including the installation of a new state-of-the-art information system. This was backed up by improved customer delivery practices as well as Company-wide investments in improving the product-knowledge of the entire sales force.

Proof that these service enhancements and back-office investments were successful, Mr. Jahn reports proudly that Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico’s market share has grown dramatically in the few years. These sales gains have come not only via winning new business and new lines from brand owners, but also by achieving strong organic growth from Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico’s existing wine and spirits portfolio.

According to Mr. Jahn, Southern Wine & Spirits of New Mexico is deeply committed to and confident about winning still more business in the future. Bullish about the New Mexico market, Mr. Templeton notes that the state’s tourism industry is poised to grow rapidly in the next decade, which will inevitably create new opportunities for the state’s hospitality, tourist and retail businesses.

Looking to the future, Mr. Jahn predicts: “We believe that we are the market leader in the eyes of customers not from our size but as a result of our passion for the business and the focus on the marketplace in which we work and live. At the end of the day, we know that there’s nobody who knows the state’s market like we do. At Southern Wine & Spirits, we know how to work with our suppliers and our customers; it is second nature to us. New Mexico is the land of enchantment and we are all aware of the growing business opportunities of tourism.”

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.

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, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. 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.