As options grow, Lexington liquor stores face increased competition

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Total Wine & More is now open for business in their second Lexington location. The new store is filling the space left by Gordman’s on Sir Barton Way.

Assistant Manager Julie Long says, “With the success of the store in Lexington Green and now being here in Hamburg is great. It’s such a great shopping area and we’re really excited to see how this store does.”

Of course they aren’t the only ones anxious to see what impact this new location will have on the area. With a Liquor Barn location just a mile down the road, consumers now have more options to choose from.

Despite their similarities, Jonathan Blue – chairman of the company that now owns Liquor Barn – believes Liquor Barn’s local ties will set them apart.

“We are based in Kentucky, we are Kentucky tax payers, we employ almost 400 employees in the state, we’ve been here for thirty years,” says Blue. “Our competitors who are coming in now are local competitors that have a different strategy, but we are Lexington’s local brand and local company.”

While Blue is confident his store will be fine, he knows others may be affected.

“I’m very sad for the small independent operators, not us.”

Speaking of local business, Justin’s House of Bourbon specializes in rare vintage bourbon. Owner Justin Thompson says that because their clientele is so different they aren’t really concerned about Total Wine & More, though as a business owner, he does understand competition.

“Small business and just having familiar faces in neighborhood spots, I believe there still is a lot of momentum towards those types of businesses,” says Thompson.

But price points also matter. Total Wine & More prides themselves on having the lowest prices in the markets.

The simple fact that they’re new will likely be a draw as well.

“At least early on that this will take some of the market share away from possibly some of the smaller businesses, but we’ll just have to see what happens, I guess.”