Friday, October 21, 2011

No on 1183

 Who is for 1183? Costco Wholesale

Who is against 1183? The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) and the public employee unions.

The US government chooses sides by the old saw, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That is why we armed Sadam Hussein, so he could kick the crap out of Iran. I feel the same about this battle. WSWA is definitely the enemy and so are public employee unions, but that doesn’t make Costco my friend. The consumer will only benefit from lower prices due to a smaller selection. If you shop at Costco, you know that you buy what Costco sells, not what you want.

Costco wants to control the market in wine. I’ve covered this before on the previous referendum. They want to import wine from China or wherever and sell it for a dollar a bottle – One Buck Luck I called it.

Do we really want to turn the whole industry over to a couple of big box stores? Do we all want to play, “let’s make a deal” with Costco? I’ve offer Costco some pretty good deals and they don’t even return phone calls. If the Family Wineries of Washington think they can compete in this market all I can say is “Good luck.”

The sad part of this is that the small distributors will be forced out of business. I need my distributors to sell my wine – not Costco.

There are nearly 800 wineries in Washington. If each only offered five wines to Costco, they would have to wholesale 4000 wines. They are not going to do this. They will go big and they will go cheap.

Protect our small distributors and medium-to-small wineries by voting NO on 1183. Don’t swap the state monopoly for the Costco monopoly.


  1. I'm sorry but your blog is so far from the truth, its not helping your cause in anyway... If costco wins, then retailers can buy direct, allowing you to have access to sell to retailers via relationships that you develop. It opens up your market and Costco has the balls to go out and try to get it done. What they open up for you allows you to grow. Saying you don't want to swap a monopoly for another 800lb gorilla is tunnel vision. You are responsible for selling your own wine.

  2. By the way, my post was not meant to be disrespectful, I do understand the pain and labor of love that small boutique winemakers experience. It sucks, its just that sometimes it takes a big fish to open up waters for the small fish to swim freely. That's really my position on the deal. I doubt you'd really want to sell to Costco anyways as there probably isn't much profit in that avenue.

  3. Frankly, you are off base. Restaurants and stores do not have time to talk to 700 wineries. The three tier system does work for some of us who would rather make wine than kiss butts in Seattle. Costco with its low markups will kill the market for all of us.

  4. You go Grumpy. Sometimes the grasshoppers don't know as much as they think. Old age and cunning overcomes youth and inexperience every time. This is not the answer for Washington State and Thank You for being a voice for less greed and more innovation!

  5. Adding to what Personal Wine said. Retailers are not allowed to shop directly to the wineries, only people that have space of 10,000 sq ft or more. I actually am a wine merchant and this was one of the reason we wanted the bill to fail. How fair is it that only people with 10,000 sq ft can get a discount but my store and its whopping 1100 sq ft cannot?

    We now have big-box stores coming in and they will will WOW you with all these great prices while the little guys will be shut down. Oh but let me'll never shop at the big-box store cause you support the local people. Give it up. You really think any of the money people spend at these stores will have an affect on the local scene? No, it will just take away customers from wine merchants like myself who actually know what they are selling.

    Congrats on taking out the state but giving it to more corporate.