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Total Wine and More...the biiiig box has arrived in CT!

Discussion in 'US - New England' started by codasnap52, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. codasnap52

    codasnap52 Savant (305) Connecticut Jan 24, 2008

    What are your thoughts on the Total Wine that just opened up in Norwalk CT this week? I know we already have some pretty large beverage stores in CT, but those were of the non-big box chain variety. I visited Total Wine yesterday at their grand opening and was pretty stunned by its sheer size and prices. I wasn't expecting as much since it took the place of the poorly stocked Wine Nation, but this place sure looks like its poised to make its mark on the beer scene in SW CT.

    I know there was some talk during the legislative sessions over the last few years to avoid opening these large big box stores for fear that they might undermine the smaller, long established mom and pop operations. I sure hope that's not the case, but when I see beers marked 20-25% down from my local beverage stores, I have a suspicion they might take a bite out of the competition ($19 for BCBS...by far the cheapest I've seen it around!). Personally, I'm pretty happy to have them around for what they can offer the consumer in terms of value and sheer variety. Thoughts?
  2. As a consumer first and foremost, I'm for whatever reduces these fucking ridiculous CT beer prices
    jsball22, seplo, chrispoint and 2 others like this.
  3. jmarce

    jmarce Savant (320) Connecticut May 15, 2011

    It's awesome that TW took over that garbage Wine Nation and finally got it right. I think it's great for us the consumers. I like to try and support local places but prices around here outside of TW now are pretty ridiculous, a 6er of Sierra Nevada shouldn't be $9.50. I went in today to check it out and thought the prices were some kind of limited time promotion or something because they were so low. I grabbed an Ommegang Duvel Rustica for $9.49 and an Ommegang XV for $11.99, would have cost me $30 anywhere else around here for those two bottles. It will be interesting to see how the smaller places react, World of Beverages down the road already has a sign outside that says they will match any local prices.

    Also, in addition to the prices it's also nice to have a place around here that offers a giant selection of singles, it's something we've been sorely lacking.
  4. Seems like the Trone Bros with the better business sense and experience took over the reins. If the threat of a 'big box' means that CT residents get used to a more reasonable price point in the state for alcohol, who is anyone to get ticked off about that?
  5. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Advocate (505) Connecticut Sep 22, 2010

    Just went online and saw the pricing.... After getting used to the Amity chains pricing (coastal and amity Hamden the biggest offenders), it is worth driving to Norwalk to get a large haul with the insanely low prices of Total Wine. Hopefully they have plans of opening more stores in the state to put the pressure on the ridiculously inflated beer market pricing in CT.
  6. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Been there three times in as many days now....place is just incredible. Let's just hope they keep the stock up-to-date...already noticed a lot of shelf space with the "Temporarily Out Of Stock" tags (Dupont Avec magnums disappeared entirely within a matter of 24 hours...BCBS stack is also getting low).

    Incidentally, I noticed the older gentleman from WoB walking around Total Wine in a dazed state last night. Can't help but feel bad for the smaller guys around the corner....unfortunately, it's tough to argue against a selection like that at prices like those.
  7. I will have to check them out tomorrow. Anything hard to find or out of the ordinary?
  8. Be prepared to be completely overwhelmed. Beer is as far to the right in the store as you can get. There is also a tiny amount of beer in cases in the back. Best stuff is on the last two stacks (second stack from the end somewhere around the center of the store are special releases). It took me a little while to figure out how they had it all laid out. There are sections that are by beer type and sections by country. I walked around for 15 minutes before I even found the beer. I think there were 6 supermarket aisles worth of red wine, two supermarket aisles of liquor and 4 supermarket aisles of white wine before I got to the beer. The place has a darn customer service center. Unreal and unreal prices. Makes you feel bad for the mom and pop shop.
  9. This place really is huge. Not sure that I like the beers being arranged by style, rather than by brewery.
    Grabbed one of those cheap BCBS four packs and a NEBCO Wet Willy. Also noticed the Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon and Pimp were $7.99, I think these were over $10 at Amity Hamden, so that's some pretty big savings.
  10. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Just stopped in again....it's become way too easy to just stroll right in, grab a 4pk of BCBS, throw $20 down on the counter (figuratively, of course), and walk right out.

    The stack's getting kinda low, though. About half of what was there when they opened last week.
  11. I expect the stock to continue to grow, if it's like any of the other TW's around the country. I'm curious to know how they will handle the special release brews, stores in FL and AZ just put the stuff out on the floor, i.e. the BCBS that is there now. Was in amazement at the prices, $2-$3 less on 6 packs and bombers, more $ on the previously mentioned BCBS.
  12. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Old Stock Cellar Reserve @ $17.99 had my jaw on the floor. Still a pricey brew, but that price almost makes it a reasonable purchase. I can't even imagine seeing it anywhere else for less (lowest I've seen was maybe $21 @ Ninety9).
  13. Yeah, and I've seen it closer to $30 at the usual suspects in lower Fairfield/Westchester county, their buying power is probably close to unmatched, and not just MBC stuff...did you get a sense if they had any "beer guys"? I just did the usual wandering around when I go to a store like that for the 1st time, didn't really chat anyone up...
  14. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Not really...just a lot of the "have you found what you're looking for?" type questions (in my head, I translate these a bit more introspectively than I probably should).

    I checked out yesterday with a Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux and a Gulden Draak 9000 and received the hearty response of "these are great beers! excellent choice!" by the checkout guy who was no less than 60 years old. I'm not an ageist or anything, but I had a difficult time believing that this friendly gentleman was truly able to discern exactly what it was that I was purchasing. I can appreciate the small talk, but I wasn't entirely convinced...haven't yet chatted up anyone that I would necessarily identify as a "beer guy", unfortunately. They really do need someone like that to help the truly overwhelmed as a place like this can be incredibly intimidating to the average consumer.
    Tomdee74 likes this.
  15. Whenever you hear someone say, "I'm not an ageist or anything, but...", you know the next thing out of their mouths will be some of the most ageist shit you've heard in your entire life. ;)
  16. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Seriously, though....this guy was older than Ghent!
  17. Since when does age have anything to do with the loveof beer?
  18. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Absolutely nothing, I guess.

    I suppose that younger beer lovers are able to BS at a checkout line just as well as their elders.

    Certainly didn't strike me as a Belgian beer kinda guy (maybe more of a Czech pilsner dude?)....
  19. Eastern european type old dude?
  20. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Yeah, he was definitely a little.....heeeey.....waaaaaaaiiit.....
  21. As an old dude, I had to assure the tattooed 20 something taking my money for BCBS in MA that yes, I had had it before and it really was worth the price; and though he'd split a 4 pack of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (cough) with his roommate once and thought it was OK, that BCBS was actually a better choice.
    Providence and dennho like this.
  22. I grabbed a couple bombers here last night and my cashier (around my age, mid 20s) said "are these pints?"
    phorestfreak and Knifestyles like this.
  23. So not to beat a dead horse, but I did my obligatory round through Total Wine tonight and had to share that they had Flower Power in stock. It wasn't just the fact that they had it, which is saying something for a CT packy, it was bottled in December AND its only $9.50! A moment of silence for the other stores in the CT area...that may be hyperbole, but once they start getting special releases, as the other TW's do, I just don't think anyone can complete with their selection and prices.
  24. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Advocate (505) Connecticut Sep 22, 2010

    I'll say this again, I really hope one moves into the greater New Haven Area, the "major" stores in this area are getting way to pricey. They need a reality check or the gouging will just get worse... still can't believe people paid over $27 for a four pack of GI BCBS....

    *edit* the two small Mom and Pop stores I bought mine from were each sold at $21.... So I know they are just gouging people
    smutty33 likes this.
  25. I have been to Total Wine in Naples FL and was like I a kid in a candy store. Was just shocked at the amount of beer and spent hours browsing. Would love to see one open in MA, but I am from New Haven, so now that one has opened in CT, I hope they at least open one on the Eastern part of the state so when I go home I can stop in!
  26. In other stores' defense, Amity has some Flower Power as well
  27. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Advocate (505) Connecticut Sep 22, 2010

    What's the price? I think $9.50 is very low
  28. They're selling stuff most stuff near cost with some at cost for the first month, but prices go up for the new year. Still, World of Beverages doesn't set a very high standard in anything other than selection, and their prices are awful.
  29. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Where did this info come from?
  30. I don't know, I saw Flower Power and jumped on it without caring. Probably not $9.50, I don't think any craft beer at Amity sells for less than $9.99 aside from Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, etc.
  31. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Advocate (505) Connecticut Sep 22, 2010

    Looking at his/her other post it seems he may own or work at another Package store, so maybe knows price of 'at cost'? Still would like to know how they know the prices are temporary.
  32. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Looks like all of the BCBS is gone now....three lone bottles sitting on the set of middle shelves in the import aisle. A moment of silence (with crossed fingers that they have some more in the back).

    Noticed that they had stocked the import aisle with a lot of nice new treats (Bon Chien 2007 for $19.99? Thanks!). Watch out for the Hanssens Oude Gueuze 375's, though. They're not priced on the shelf, but when I brought it up to the customer service counter for a price check, the store manager quoted me almost $14. Obviously, they had it in there for the price of a 750ml. I was told that they were already notified of this by the distributor, but they obviously haven't done anything about....hopefully they'll have that adjusted accordingly next time.
  33. Isn't that the correct price? That's what I see it for around here I believe.
  34. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Not around this area. They're typically $12/$13 just over the border in Westchester....and judging by Total Wine's current pricing structure, it would be unlikely that they would charge above the local norm.

    They also mentioned that this was leftover stock from Wine Nation.....so it's very likely that WN had it wrong to begin with and now Total Wine's having to go in and correct their pricing.
  35. Am I reading it wrong or did you say they quoted 14 bucks(750 price) but it's generally 12/13 bucks? If so that's only 1-2 bucks more.
  36. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (445) New York Jun 7, 2005

    What I'm saying is that I brought up the 375ml.....they quoted me $14....which I assumed was associated with the 750ml bottle (which they don't have in stock currently). I was notified by a distributor at Northeast that this I was the case as was hoping that it had been fixed. They haven't yet corrected it.

    I also brought up a bottle of Normandie cider which wasn't even in their system at all. Seems like they're just sorting through some stock issues as the store manager didn't even realize it.
  37. They are at cost on all of the macro/ sierra nevada/ sam adams stuff. I work in the business and saw their magazine they sent out. And I talked to one of the wine buyers at Stew Leonards and they told me TW doesnt care about state min because if anyone challenges them on pricing they'll sue for being unconstitutional.
    SunDevilBeer likes this.
  38. Please tell me they are expanding to MA eventually.

    I've been to a few TW's in AZ and was impressed with both the selection and pricing.
  39. codasnap52

    codasnap52 Savant (305) Connecticut Jan 24, 2008

    I heard the exact same thing. Many of their prices are at the wholesale cost. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this isn't just part of their strategy to lure us in, only to raise the prices back to the CT average level. Either way, I'm very pleased with the prices at the moment!
  40. There was more. Got a 4 pack last night and there was about a case on the shelf.
    Knifestyles likes this.

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