Dallas, Texas (Reuters) – Publices that sell beer, wine and spirits are opening more locations across the United States, with the expansion aimed at boosting their revenue and bolstering their customer base.
The company, which was founded by Michael Bloomberg, plans to open at least 20 new stores across the country this year.
The company has already opened stores in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston and Los Angeles.
“We’re going to open a handful of new stores every week, as well as a handful in each state,” said Tim Lincecum, vice president of the company’s corporate operations.
“That’s a lot of growth.”
Publix said it will be expanding its beer portfolio, including craft and specialty beers, and its wine portfolio, which includes the most expensive wines in the country.
The chain said it plans to add about 500 employees in North America this year, a move that is expected to boost its workforce by about 20 percent, or about 3,500 people.
Lincecum said the expansion of its beverage portfolio has been accelerated by a favorable market for wine in the United State.
In 2017, U. S. wine sales rose 3.9 percent to a record $10.3 billion, according to Wine Spectator.
In 2018, they rose 5.3 percent to $10 billion.
The wine industry is projected to grow 2.7 percent this year and 3.4 percent next year, according the Beverage Marketing Association.
The American Beverage Association said the U.s. wine market is projected at $3.3 trillion in 2021, up from $2.7 trillion last year.
“In many parts of the country, beer and wine are being displaced by craft and wine brands, and the industry is struggling to compete with those brands,” the association said in a statement.
“We are hopeful that with this expanded beer and cider offerings, we can begin to create a sustainable and diversified beer and beverage industry.”
The American Beer Wholesalers Association said it expects to add 1,000 new members to its membership list in 2018.