Retail Check: Wally's

Wally’s Los Angeles has some bottles that I’m interested in, but I’m in the East Coast so have no idea about the place. Anyone been to the store to see how the wines are usually stored and any experience with their shipping recently? TIA.

buy with confidence, solid retailer with a great reputation.

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100%. It’s a blue chip stock in the wine retail world.

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l’ve aways had good experiences with them

Great to know. Thanks all!

I haven’t dealt with Wally’s shipping to a separate city, but had interactions with them while I lived in Los Angeles. My advice would be to go elsewhere or shop there only if you can go into the location and get the specific bottle in person in real time. Their website and inventory management system are very poor; I would order bottles through the website only to be told they were “missing” or “out” (or I would simply not be charged and never receive any explanation or response). On other occasions, I would go to pick up an online order and the bottle would be different than what I purportedly bought via the website (for example, a village Burg rather than a 1er cru or the wrong single-vineyard Northern Rhone or Barolo bottle). You probably aren’t asking about futures, but that system is even worse. Overall, Wally’s consistently had awful, nonresponsive customer service and made many inexplicable mistakes with online orders. Among dozens of wine retailers I have done business with, I would rank Wally’s near the bottom and plan never to do business with them again. You should be skeptical that you will actually get what you think you’re buying. Again, I would go elsewhere (K&L or Wine House in LA).

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No problems

I’ve tried to buy the Hudelot 2000 cv more than once and it’s out of stock but still listed on their website.

It’s almost impossible to get customer service on the phone, and their website is a freakin’ nightmare of not recognizing my email address, nor my password, and not actually sending me the reset password. They keep “updating” the software, requiring that you update your password, which then doesn’t work again. I have resorted to signing in as a guest every time. The upside is that I’ve so far had zero trouble actually getting the bottles I order - futures included - once I get a receipt. Buy with…trepidation?

Call the Culver City warehouse (310-475-0606)-- they are much better about tracking down order status and usually I get an answer in five minutes. The retail locations like Beverly Hills and Santa Monica are more mixed depending on who answers the phone. I’ve never had any luck on email either.

My 2018 bordeaux futures just arrived in January 2022 by the way.

^ This. Ordered Allemand, Selosse, and Hudelot, all eventually were “out of stock” but lingered on their website. Not saying they are a fly by night company, on the contrary they have huge expensive brick and mortar stores. They also have in stock wines for sure but not the best inventory system IMHO. I personally would not order from them anymore as their online inventory is not that great. Maybe if there is something that I really want and it is there, might try again but Wally’s is not a place I order from regularly at all.

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My only recent online purchase was for cheese and charcuterie. Turnaround took about a week, but it was filled. After BH opened, they were great with in-person tastings and offering those wines for sale. Over the years, I have begun to regard Wally’s as a restaurant with a retail arm, which seems to work better as a business model for them.

Re: OP’s question, storage shouldn’t be an issue.

Haven’t used them much but have had zero difficulties when I have. Their tent sales have usually been a source of good prices. Their off-the-shelf prices are less enticing for the most part

My latest episode with them was about 2019 Bordeaux futures. I went online to find out my account was no longer active. I called them and they said they moved to new computer system. They sent me confirmation of my Bordeaux futures order. Which was nice. But this place has problems. I only bought these because they had them in 375ml. I last purchased some 2009 Bordeaux futures and that was handled poorly by them. They refused to send OWC’s of wines I purchased by the case. deadhorse

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This is concerning to me. I went ahead and placed an order for some Allemand based on earlier responses. Did they eventually cancel/refund when they realized they weren’t in stock? Thanks for the info.

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If you are thinking about the 2013 Chaillot, forget about it. Mine has been “awaiting processing” since last November. They did refund /cancel my order, but they said the wine was at first “pre-arrival” which is not indicated on their website, then they later told me it was sold out/not available, but seems like it is still on their website. No harm taking a chance if you want, but I personally would not want the hassle.
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Ugh, I ordered that bottle. Thanks for the info. Will try and follow up with them by next week if no updates. That’s very disappointing to hear.

Mike, what appears to be happening right now is literally the same issue I’ve had with Wally’s dozens of times. The website is poor in many respects (including processing and tracking open orders); the inventory management system is even worse; and the customer service when the other flawed systems inevitably fail is (amazingly) even worse yet again. It’s not a good store for anyone than the sports stars and celebrities who are happy spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single shot on very overpriced wine simply because it isn’t worth their time to shop elsewhere for better prices (which are almost always available, often at other wine stores in LA). Given all of the systems issues and the shabby treatment of more “regular” customers (who may still be buying tens of thousands of dollars of wine in a given year), I think it’s an extremely flawed operation. Based on the other posts in this thread, some people have had decent experiences, but you can see that I am not alone in having bad experiences that should be completely unacceptable in post-2010 ecommerce.

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Certainly- I plan on following up with them to find out what’s actually in stock and not. Hoping to at least get some bottles delivered, but pretty sure I won’t be going back to them given the feedbacks and online inventory issue. Thanks for the info!

Good luck. Went to their Santa Monica store for the first time last week - it was gorgeous but seemed to to be focused more as restaurant than a wine shop

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