The battle for beer, wine and spirits money has escalated further on Madison’s Far West Side.
Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits has opened on the corner of Mineral Point Road and D’Onofrio Drive in a space that for years housed a Pier 1 Imports store.
It’s the first standalone liquor store in Wisconsin for the Iowa-based retailer, which also has a dozen other standalone liquor stores in Iowa and Minnesota, some of which operate under the Wall brand. to Wall Wine & Spirits. Hy-Vee also has liquor stores integrated into most of its 285 grocery stores in the Midwest, including its three stores in Dane County.
But Hy-Vee’s standalone liquor store that opened Feb. 22 in Madison is surrounded by other large liquor stores and grocery stores. They include the 23,000 square foot Total Wine & More which opened in 2018 and Metcalfe’s Market, both in West Towne; Steve’s Liquor and Pick ‘n Save, both on Junction Road; a Brennan Market and a Walmart on Watts Road; and a Woodman’s Market which has a huge liquor store attached to the grocery store. Additionally, alcohol can be purchased at Target, Walgreens, and two Kwik Trip stores on Mineral Point Road, one of which is across from the new Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits.
People also read…
Hy-Vee originally planned to open a Hy-Vee Wall to Wall Wine & Spirits in Madison, but these stores are typically two to three times the size of the space Hy-Vee uses for its liquor store on Mineral. Point Road. The proliferation of other nearby retailers was no obstacle for Hy-Vee.
“It gives us another avenue and allows us to expand our footprint in the Madison area,” said KJ Harnack, director of wine and spirits for Hy-Vee. “As we expand, we go to many more places and that allows us to bring our brand to another neighborhood.”
Hy-Vee entered Wisconsin in 2009 when it opened a store on East Washington Avenue. It added a second store in 2013 in Westgate and a year later built a store in Fitchburg. The company also has a store in Eau Claire and is building stores in La Crosse, Janesville and Ashwaubenon.
The standalone 8,900 square foot Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits store in Madison is filled with aisles of bourbon, brandy, vodka, wine, and domestic and imported beer coolers. The store also includes a cigar humidor containing over 100 varieties of cigars, a temperature-controlled glass-enclosed wine cellar, and a bar that will be used for tastings and classes.
The store also sells glassware, including hand-blown wine decanters from Austrian maker Riedel for up to $500 each and beer glasses from Spiegelaw. QR codes throughout the store provide customers with product and usage information.
“It’s all about experience,” said Ross Grunwald, district store manager for Hy-Vee. “It’s not to hit our competition but it’s not sterile here. When you walk in, it’s inviting, it’s warm, it’s friendly, it’s fun.
Dancing Goat Single Whiskey
Among the Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits offerings is a $60 eight-year-old malted bourbon bottled from a single barrel.
It’s part of a scheme by Dancing Goat Distillery in Cambridge where retailers can offer whiskey from a specific barrel which is then sold in 750ml bottles. In its first year of the program, Dancing Goat, named Wisconsin Distillery of the Year 2021 at the New York International Spirit Competition, sold more than 35 barrels, each handpicked by retailers. Stores are invited to the distillery or are sent a selection of samples to taste according to the profiles they are looking for.
Tastings are done with Nick Maas, Dancing Goat’s Vice President of Distillation and Innovation, who performs the tastings at the distillery or virtually via a Zoom call if samples were sent directly.
“It’s like a dance,” Maas said. “Going back and forth with each sip and sharing the nuances of the different taste profiles they’re trying to achieve. Eventually arriving at the perfect whiskey experience they want to deliver to their customers.
Casks sold to retailers in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas and Florida to date include the distillery’s award-winning six-year-old Limousin Rye with proofs and special bottle finishes. The distillery has also made available exclusive mash invoices under a Dancing Goat Distillery Single Barrel Selects label. These included rye bourbon, malted bourbon, oat bourbon, and 100% corn whiskey.
Far West Side retailers shut down
Expensive cookware, jams, salsa and chocolates have left West Towne Mall.
Williams-Sonoma, the San Francisco-based retailer that has closed stores across the country in aid of its growing online sales, closed its only store in Madison.
The store had been a mall staple since 1998. The company still has Wisconsin stores at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa and Fox Valley Mall in Appleton.
Across South Gammon Road, Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry, has closed after 20 years. The last day of activity was January 31.
According to Bloomberg News, Signet Jewelers Ltd., owner of Jared, Zales and Kay, is closing hundreds of stores across North America and the UK as the company is in the midst of a multi-year turnaround plan. focused on expanding e-commerce and eliminating poorly performing stores.
According to a listing by Park Towne Realty, the 5,856-square-foot Madison store at the corner of South Gammon and Odana roads receives more than 32,000 passing cars daily and could be split into one multi-tenant building or expanded to 8 000 square feet. Jared still has Wisconsin stores in Grand Chute, near Appleton, and in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield.
From the State Journal archives: “The most exciting thing that ever happened to shopping in Madison”: a special 24-page section marked the opening of the West Towne Mall in 1970
Send retail-related tips and story ideas to [email protected] or call Barry Adams at 608-252-6148.