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Alcohol retailer to open store in Spokane

Fri., July 13, 2012, midnight

One of the nation’s largest alcohol retailers will open its first Spokane area store in late fall.

Total Wine, based in Potomac, Md., said it’s about to begin remodeling the former Borders Books store at 9980 N. Newport Highway.

Edward Cooper, the company’s vice president for communications, said the goal is to open the 30,000 square foot store by the first week of November.

The multistate company intends to have 10 stores in Washington. It just opened its first Puget Sound location in Bellevue. Among the stores to be added will be a second one in this area, likely in Spokane Valley, Cooper said. He said the goal is to open it by the second quarter of 2013.

Total Wine announced earlier this year its intention to have stores in Washington following voter approval of Initiative 1183, which permits private sales of liquor.

Cooper said other large retailers will likely make efforts to compete in Spokane, which he described as an inviting retail market. So far nearly 100 retail locations have applied for licenses to sell spirits in Spokane County.

One retailer with a Washington presence already is California-based alcohol retailer BevMo! The company has stores in Silverdale and Tacoma.

BevMo! spokeswoman Kris Mulkey responded by email to questions about coming to Spokane, saying, “We do have plans to open new Washington stores in the coming months but exact locations are still to be determined.”

While most area retailers made sure they were ready to start selling spirits on June 1, TotalWine decided not to hurry its statewide arrival, Cooper said.

“Our efforts are dictated by the ability to find the right location. We take as long as it takes, so we didn’t rush into this,” he said.

A city building permit for the Newport Highway store said renovation and remodeling will cost about $700,000. On Thursday Cooper and other Total Wine execs attended the grand opening of the Bellevue store, which took over a former Larry’s Market grocery. To add to the store’s dazzle, the company placed a vintage hydroplane in the store entrance, surrounded by dozens of bottles of Absolut vodka.


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