Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

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Robert Dentice
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#1 Post by Robert Dentice »

Why are all retail wine stores in ground floor spaces? Is this simply because they want the foot traffic or is it also a legal requirement. For example would it be possible to get a retail license in a loft like space in an industrial building??
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#2 Post by PeterJ »

Can't speak to New York specifically but I'd say it's foot traffic. Here in SoCal there are small retailers that have commercial/ industrial spaces but it's usually only if their business is mostly based on personal trade or web sales. I don't know of anything in the ABC code that would prohibit it in an 'upstairs' location. Just my 2¢.
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#3 Post by Will P@yne »

Though I've never seen it done in NYC, I believe you can have it on an upper level. You ARE required to have a storefront (visible, stocked shelves). And you can't be within 200 feet of the entrance of a school or church.

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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#4 Post by ybarselah »

you need foot traffic to run a normal retail operation, and even then it's very difficult. there is nothing that would prohibit non-ground floor (manhatan wine company is kind of inside a building).

when we were doing research for my startup, one of the questions i asked SMBs is how often folks come in off the street and say something like "wow, this place is great how long have you been open?" and the answer is usually 5-10 years! these are from all the places you and I know and love.
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#5 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz »

It's not just foot traffic for people walking in off the street, it's that if you're buying several bottles of wine you don't want to have to schlepp them down an elevator, stairs or escalator to get to the street level.

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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#6 Post by C. Bowman »

Not only customers but what retailer or UPS/FedEx pick-up or delivery wants to schlepp cases of wine up & down stairs etc.

A retailer can make it in awkward locations but it takes a lot of work, been there done that.

As far as any retailer. Consumers go to places that grab their attention driving/walking by, the place has built a relationship with their customers, referrals, best prices/service and on and on.
If we're talking about walkin traffic, being located above street level is an added amount of work to be successful in a business that takes a lot of work & nurturing to be successful already. Why would anyone want to do that?

A simple answer to OP question, I have not heard of any state/city/county law requirements for a wine retailer to be on ground floor.
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#7 Post by Ramon C »

I think it's simply because of economics. I.e. high foot traffic is very important, especially in a walking town such as Manhattan.

Btw, I know of a couple of somewhat-large local wine stores that have a 2nd floor showroom, in addition to their ground floor spaces.
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Retail Wine Question - (mostly New York)

#8 Post by Ethan Abraham »

I think you could remove the word "wine" and it would basically be the same thing, right? Except for some very specific high-end retailers (custom clothing, etc) or in very dense neighborhoods (ktown? chinatown?)I can't think of much retail in NYC that isn't ground level.

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