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

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

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    EDNOSE Aspirant (235) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    Got the $6.49 price today as well. Shelf said $9.49. Went back and got more when I saw the price at the register was the rumored lower one.
  2. dumpman

    dumpman Disciple (312) Feb 6, 2010 Rhode Island

    At 1.08 a bottle i am tempted to drive the 100 miles to pick up 2-300 cases.
  3. codasnap52

    codasnap52 Aspirant (258) Jan 24, 2008 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Dont. I sent my dad (who works in Norwalk) today to pick up a case of FP...turns out you fellas beat him to it. They were out of stock by 5 PM after getting 4 cases in this morning. Oooooh the humanity!
  4. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Somebody must have creeped up right behind me last night because there were at least a few 6pks still sitting on the shelf as of 4:30pm. I was tempted, but had a few other things to pick up instead.

    Also, the cases originally arrived on Tuesday morning....I don't think they actually received an additional shipment yesterday morning. Perhaps just another case of misinformation provided by an employee.
  5. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Initiate (172) Aug 12, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Not that total wine cares for the liquor laws in CT, but legally they cant sell an item below 10% of their cost. Stock up boys.
  6. stearns16

    stearns16 Aspirant (234) Jan 11, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I just wonder how this place makes any money selling the beer so far below cost
    smutty33 likes this.
  7. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Lagunitas Sucks made its second appearance on the shelf today. Oddly, didn't see it there last night, but there it was just a little before noon today. Hopefully they keep this one in stock.

    Oh, and for those keeping track, it was $9.49/6pk.
  8. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Dude, just how much time do you spend in this place? I think it might be time for an intervention; your friends are worried.
    Knifestyles likes this.
  9. woosterbill

    woosterbill Poo-Bah (2,616) Apr 6, 2009 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    What glaring grammatical error? :wink: Gotta love the edit function.

    Oh, and as long as we're pedantic (which you know I love), misspelling is really more of an orthographical error than a grammatical one.
    Knifestyles likes this.
  10. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Nice try!
  11. dumpman

    dumpman Disciple (312) Feb 6, 2010 Rhode Island

  12. dumpman

    dumpman Disciple (312) Feb 6, 2010 Rhode Island

    still a good price.
  13. audioserf

    audioserf Aspirant (253) Sep 3, 2010 Connecticut

    I bought the last two six packs TW had of the Lagunitas on Friday evening. While paying, I also explained the name to the girl behind the register, who was curious.
  14. jmarce

    jmarce Initiate (70) May 15, 2011 Connecticut

    They have GI Big John for $7.49 a bomber now and a limited amount of Palate Wrecker bottled 1/7/13 for $12.99 4/pack. I wish they would do a better job restocking some stuff though, no Sea Hag, Flower Power or Sucks.
  15. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    That is insane cheap for Big John!
  16. audioserf

    audioserf Aspirant (253) Sep 3, 2010 Connecticut

    Thanks for the heads up on the fresh Palate Wrecker. I need to grab a 4pk.
  17. Brez07

    Brez07 Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2009 Maine

    4 pack? Damnit, pretty sure Maine only got bombers
  18. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Spotted a case of Sea Hag just minutes ago....it's in the back of the craft case aisle a couple shelves up. For some crazy reason, it's also stacked with the bottled waters/carbonated N.A. beverages.
    jmarce likes this.
  19. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    About 5 cases of Sucks just showed up....have at it!
    sandman3479 likes this.
  20. JeffreyJMiller

    JeffreyJMiller Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2012 Connecticut

    Wow! This case was sold to you nearly $8 below cost. (At least by way of the licensed CT wholesaler.) Grab it while you can!
    braineater likes this.
  21. smutty33

    smutty33 Zealot (599) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I went to Coastal in Branford about a month ago w/ a $25 gift card.
    Picked up a 4pk....of BCBS for $26.99.....
    I still had to chip in another $4 outta my own pocket:grimacing: .....total bullshit.
    At another store down the street,when BCBS 1st came out,I paid $21.99

    RMoeNay likes this.
  22. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Gotta voice my opinion on this one, being that I work in a relatively large liquor store in ct.

    First, anyone complaining about ct beer prices has to write a thank you letter to governor Malloy. Ct has a nice fat excise tax on any and all alcohol sold. As of last July it went up even more along with the sales tax increase. The distributors pay more for the product in ct and therefore stores pass it along to the customers because we have to pay higher prices as well.

    Second, I have been to total wine and while its tough to compete with their selection and shear volume, not a single employee knew a damn thing about any of the beers. They were all "can I help you find something" types that were there to point u in the right direction and nothing else, just bodies.

    Finally, if you enjoy having your small beer/liquor stores around and appreciate the people that help you out getting limited release products and being knowledgable about products, take a look at the bill that the governor is trying to pass this summer. He wants to eliminate bottle min pricing on all alcohol. This will mean a drastic decrease in selection of products as well as imminent demise for any store that can't afford to do business with heavy heavy volume ($5 million or more in sales per year at least). The governor wants to pass this law so that he can pass another law which was attempted last summer which would allow supermarkets and big box stores to sell wine and spirits. Total wine is the first step in this process.

    End rant.
    garylite and JeffreyJMiller like this.
  23. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2010 Connecticut

    That's good and all and I feel for the little stores for that same reason (taxes). But how can the little stores have better prices than the 'big' stores down the street. Why is that? Why did liquor stores not fold in mass amounts after Sunday sales, when we were told countless times they would fold? How are mom and pop stores still around in the area of Total Wine? I think the real problem is that the big gougers would be forced to compete and actually price their beers accordingly. But who knows?

    Edit *** since I don't know where you work, I can't assume your store does the same, but specific Big stores around New Haven do seem to gouge a bit.
    smutty33 likes this.
  24. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Mom and pop stores can have better prices because they are FORCED to have better prices to compete with others. We have 9 liquor stores in my town. Every single permit allowed is taken. Therefore we are FORCED to keep the prices down to stay alive.

    Sunday sales is a crock. It didn't help our store at all but we had to be open because our competitors are. It literally cut our Saturday sales in half because people like to wait until the last minute to get their booze. So we have the same sales total as a Saturday last year, only it's spread between two days and we have to pay all the employees to be there Sundays. In essence were losing Monday because of Sunday sales ha.

    As for the price gouging, I for one will never resort to such things (I'm the "beer manager" at my store). But if u wanna see price gouging go to a big chain grocery store such as big y, stop and shop, etc and take a look at their beer prices. They're a solid $4-5 higher on 12pk bottles and even more on 30 packs and things. Case and point a simple thing like sam boston lager. We charge. $13.99 a 12 pack. The grocery stores in my town charge 17.99-18.99 for the same 12 pack. For the grocery stores that actually carry a decent craft beer selection the prices are outrageous, but people still buy it cuz it's "convenient".
    JeffreyJMiller and smutty33 like this.
  25. codasnap52

    codasnap52 Aspirant (258) Jan 24, 2008 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I like the points you make Zbyler and I hope that as the larger Big Box stores and Supermarkets expand that it won't cut too deeply into the business of the local mom and pop shops. That being said, as a consumer I wouldn't mind the elimination of minimum bottle pricing. I know this will work to the advantage of the larger stores who can take the hits, and it will often result in the lower prices of BMC products instead of fine craft brews, but I see it having other advantages as well. Minimum bottle prices has stifled competition amongst the liquors stores in our state for quite some time. I can think of countless shops which sell their beverages at the state minimum levels with little regard for marketing or competitive pricing. Those that have fostered strong relationships with their customers will do just fine. I for one, am happy to pay a little bit more for that sixer, so long as my beer guy continues to bring in wacky beers that are often much harder to find in the big box stores. Customer service will always make the difference.

    Also, I visited Total Wine over the weekend and couldn't believe how packed the place has gotten! The parking lot in front was quite full. I've heard rumors that some of the local stores in Norwalk are really feeling their presence and one or two are very much in danger of closing up (I can't recall which ones I was told). But so long as Total Wine's employees remain clueless as to what they sell, I'll be sticking to my local haunts and giving them as much support as ever.
    Zbyler and RMoeNay like this.
  26. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Since beer doesnt have a "min bottle" price and the lowest you can or should go is what you paid for it, it doesn't affect beer sales much at all. However, taking away min bottle on wine and liquor is a disaster. Stores will no longer be able to buy items by the bottle (and offer a fair price to the customer) and will have to buy cases of the same item in order to offer a reasonable price. This means no more second day special orders for customers who want less than a case of any item as well as an enormous decrease in items that stores will carry. I can only speak for my store but there are a lot of items. especially from up-and-coming companies, that we strictly buy by the bottle. If we had to case the same items just to offer the same price we simply wouldn't buy the product. This stands true for high end items as well. Not many small stores can afford to purchase a case of johnnie walker blue 1.75's so they will simply stop carrying it.

    I completely agree that the total wine stype stores will have no problem prospering with the new laws which will eventually be passed, just trying to look out for the little guys (me) ha.
  27. OatmattStout

    OatmattStout Devotee (444) Nov 20, 2002 Connecticut

    I couldn't agree more with Amity and Costal Pricing here in new haven county. Made my first stop at totalwine and was amazed at prices.

    I actually bought more bourbon and scotch on this trip and the vast majority of what I purchased was 20-30% cheaper than amity's and local prices. I was amazed and just confirmed how amity's prices are horrible.
    RMoeNay likes this.
  28. dgthrasher

    dgthrasher Initiate (183) Dec 27, 2008 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I hope mom and pop stores that are overcharging do go out of business. It will cut the cost of beer, and will make it easier to search out limited releases ( less stores to go to) I have no problem driving an extra mile or two to save a couple of bucks a bomber.
  29. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    Don't be so sure about that. Without the smaller stores that are pricing higher, nothing would be keeping larger chains from pricing to their taste. I mean, where else are you going to buy your limited releases? Additionally, with larger stores comes a broader customer base. That means more consumers would be going to the same location for the same exact thing. Certainly doesn't solve the ease of availability for limited items.

    Add that to the fact that it's not uncommon for distributors to favor smaller stores. While the selection at Total is vast and varied, they simply do not stock everything (ever notice that they always have Elm City/Sea Hag but never Gandhi Bot?). Here's a fun/enlightening activity: take a walk around the store and keep a tally of the blue "Temporarily Out of Stock" tickets in front of all the shelf gaps. There are a lot of them. The scary thing is that a considerable amount of those tickets have been there since they opened over a year ago. I was pretty excited when Total came to town as there were countless deals to be found. Unfortunately, that sweet honey-hole has become less and less impressive since they've opened as they simply cannot maintain their stock.

    Also, while some of Total Wine's pricing does go beyond competitive (i.e. pricing at cost), a lot of the stock pricing has also been increasing slowly over time. The lambics/gueuze, for example, have all shot up ~$2 over the past several months. Hell, even the great deal that was Founders FBS at $7.99/4pk is now $9.99.

    Fun fact: even Total Wine isn't adverse to pricing higher than smaller, local stores. They were selling Bourbon County Barleywine for $2 more than World of Beverage just a mile down the road. Not only that, but WoB had theirs just sitting on the shelf. At Total, you had to explicitly ask for it at the customer service counter....so you wouldn't even know that it was there unless you were either told by someone else, or just so happened to ask at the right time.

    Just sayin'......
    EDNOSE likes this.
  30. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (235) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    Maybe Total Wine would hire better beer staff if they started forcing more BA's to shop their, but there's no beating the personal attention at the smaller shops and the knowledge / discussions. That's worth an extra $1 or 2. I've never met someone in Total Wine that has much of a clue and that's a negative.

    As said above, Total Wines does not get all of the NEBCO line ... maybe they would if they forced others out of business ... who knows ... I'm not rooting for it to happen.

    Total Wines prices were amazing when they opened but by and large have regressed back to the mean. Not all the way in some cases (Sea Hag is still a $1 less there than most of Fairfield County, Stone Enjoy By has been dirt cheap there each time) ... The days of $7 Flower Power are long gone.

    I also find that A LOT of their stock is old so I always check bottle / can dating and have very often not purchased because of that on beers that don't age well.

    I pop in once in a while but it is not my go to and wouldn't be anytime soon either.
  31. sandman3479

    sandman3479 Devotee (411) Dec 8, 2006 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I could be wrong on this, but I think some of their staff in the beer department are actually people who work for distributors/beer companies, ie Total isn't the ones paying them, and that is part of the way they are able to keep their costs down.

    On more than 1 occasion, I've asked a dude in the aisle "do you have so and so beer", and their response was, "I don't really work here, I work for one of the distributors. Ask some who really does work here".
  32. audioserf

    audioserf Aspirant (253) Sep 3, 2010 Connecticut

    The people who work at TW in Norwalk know nothing. I'll be browsing, and some earpiece wearing clown in a uniform will ask me if I'm looking for something. On multiple occasions, I've asked for a specific product, been told it's out of stock/not carried, and then found it on my own within five minutes. Case in point: I once asked about Flower Power, and was told it hadn't come in yet. The earpiece walked off, and I then looked on the shelf right above where we were standing and there were two cases of the stuff. Another time I asked about a new Two Roads release, the person buzzed "the back", and told me it was a brewery only release. I found it on the shelf, in a bottle, at Stew Leonard's Wines + Spirits the same day.

    Total has great prices and an ok selection but don't bother trying to talk to anyone who works there. I don't want a middle aged corporate guy who thinks he's Beer Agent Smith trying to help me. Give me a fat guy with facial hair every time. That guy knows what he's talking about.
  33. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Initiate (172) Aug 12, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    AS far as I know, this would be illegal in CT. The people who work for distributors arent allowed to pack out their own orders or even hold their own tastings in stores. I doubt one of them would be standing around in one of the most controversial liquor stores in CT just volunteering there. Not to say that he wasnt a sales rep. Maybe he just happened to be there to place orders?
  34. sandman3479

    sandman3479 Devotee (411) Dec 8, 2006 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Maybe. All I know is that he said he didn't work for Total, and I'm pretty sure he was packing shelves. Long story short, it was apparent he wasn't a customer, but someone who "worked" there.
  35. TRFD803

    TRFD803 Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2012 Connecticut

    Went there a few months ago and asked when they would be getting Lagunitas Sucks in. The gentleman I spoke to said they weren't getting it in any time soon and it was a spring only release. I went there the other day and they had 3 cases sitting there. Their prices are great, however their employees seriously lack any knowledge of the products they carry and beer in general.
  36. garylite

    garylite Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2010 Connecticut

    TW Norwalk puts some of the things you want most (GB comes to mind) in a locked wine cellar and allocate 1 4 pack per day per person. Went back into the cellar with the manager the other day she gave me a 4 pack of GB. They had about 3 cases sitting there. I assume this beer has been sitting there for at least a month given what has been going on at NEBC. At the rate they sell these 4 packs my guess is it will be there until April. Validates the point that they don't know what they are doing.
  37. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Initiate (154) Jun 7, 2005 New York

    That's interesting....I did see that they put IST on the special release shelf last week at $11.99/bottle. Awesome.
    sandman3479 likes this.
  38. mltobin

    mltobin Poo-Bah (1,571) Apr 1, 2007 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Prices have certainly been on the rise at TW. As they have gained market share from Stew`s, BevMax, etc., they have been ticking up some of those price tags. As pointed out by KS, they increased the price of FBS by 25%.

    And to show beer nerds their street cred, they hung that giant banner of Kim Jordan from New Belgium. :confused:
  39. smutty33

    smutty33 Zealot (599) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    From what I have been told(by a store owner or two)Total Wines' game plan was to enter the state w/bargain basement prices,(under state minimum?) and then slowly but surely start raising them.Why did they do this?To make it tough on the little guy?Not sure to be honest,just speculating.I was also told they own the land that is the old Showcase Cinemas in Milford across the street from BOB's.Maybe they plan to open up there to compete w/the store that they made change their name?Inquiring minds would love to know.

    Side note:I'm surprised that Gandhi-Bot IS actually at Total Wine,I was told it would NEVER make an appearance there....wonder how that happened.

    Cheers All.....
    sandman3479 likes this.
  40. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I hope they don't come to Rhode Island.
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