What is typical liquor store markup?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by quetzal013, Feb 5, 2013.


How much does a liquor store usually markup beer after they get it from the distributor?

  1. 10%

    3 vote(s)
  2. 20%

    27 vote(s)
  3. 30%

    54 vote(s)
  4. 40%

    15 vote(s)
  5. 50%

    6 vote(s)
  6. 60%

    0 vote(s)
  7. 70%

    0 vote(s)
  8. 80%

    0 vote(s)
  9. 90%

    0 vote(s)
  10. 100%

    9 vote(s)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. quetzal013

    quetzal013 Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2011 California

    How much does a liquor store usually markup beer after they get it from the distributor?
  2. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    On craft 25% is standard. Macros, 10% or even less depending on size of package.
    YogiBeer and Picodegallo87 like this.
  3. PeterJ

    PeterJ Initiate (69) Dec 5, 2012 California

    Every liquor store is different. Nobody is going to tell you what their markup is.
  4. CelticAleMan

    CelticAleMan Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California

    I agree with the above of 25% for craft. Pretty typical of reasonable stores.
  5. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    When my wife was a bar manager the markup was only 25-30% at the bar, so retail sellers probably got around the same or a little less since they all bought from the same distributor.
  6. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    I would hope more than 25%. Rent/utilities in nyc and LI are very high...
  7. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    worked in retail and wholesale in two states....retail is 20-30% for beer. Hard Liquor is a little higher, wine a little higher than that.
  8. cevafm

    cevafm Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I can tell you right now that anyone saying less then 20% for a small to medium sized distributor is full of it. My store in Philadelphia marks up BMC 20-25% and craft 25-30%.

    Loss leaders are 15-20% such as the Natty Lights and Milwaukee's Best Ice.
  9. BierGartenok

    BierGartenok Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2009 Oklahoma

    Not sure where these guys are getting 30% from. Only on Import bombers, 750's or single 12oz's split from Case Price do you put a 30 mark on. Your Avg is around 15-20%. Oklahoma is a 4-Tier state too, which really blows. Lot's of hands in my pockets and to stay competitive you have to mark low. If you wanna know my % markups from cost just BM me.
    DelMontiac likes this.
  10. cevafm

    cevafm Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Doubtful since in most distruibutors BMC makes up 90% of sales. That's not a lot of profit to work with.
  11. mcrago

    mcrago Aspirant (281) Oct 6, 2012 Indiana

    Based on what my local bottle shop sells FFF at, I would say 50%.
  12. WYVYRN527

    WYVYRN527 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2007 Minnesota

    Every store is different. Here in Minnesota it's usually between 30-35%
  13. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    i was told that FFF sells to dist and they mark it up 40ish%
    They store marks up another 35%-40ish%

    For example:
    FFF dreadnaught: FFF sells for $5.25 each
    Dist sells to store for $7.50ish
    Store Sells to consumer for $10ish

    Now let's review why FFF sells these at the pub unless demand isn't met there! :slight_smile:
  14. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    An Oklahoma liquor store owner told me the other day that there are at least two wholesalers they know of that also run their own retail stores. Doesn't sound fair to me and I have to wonder if it's actually allowed by state law. Seems with all the tightass laws in OK, that this would not be legal. Must be a loophole somewhere.
  15. AmitC

    AmitC Crusader (720) Sep 21, 2012 New York

    Is that true? If so, i might plan a trip to Munster pretty soon. Dreadnaught here in Indy is $11.99 before taxes. Damn it.
  16. philipquarles

    philipquarles Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2007 Connecticut

    In most states, you're looking at 30% margin, so about 43% markup. That's also the minimum standard markup for big distributors.
    tozerm likes this.
  17. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    they sell to Distributor for that.
    Not at the brewpub.
    They also sell it for $10. Thus are much more inclinded to sell at the house!
  18. AmitC

    AmitC Crusader (720) Sep 21, 2012 New York

    You burst my temporary bubble. Silly me what was i thinking.
    Casedogg43 likes this.
  19. mcrago

    mcrago Aspirant (281) Oct 6, 2012 Indiana

    I believe FFF sells Dreadnaught for $10 a bottle at the brewery.
    Casedogg43 likes this.
  20. equi1ibrium

    equi1ibrium Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2012 Illinois

    Saw Bell's Hopslam for $27.99 in the Downers Grove, IL area.
  21. BierGartenok

    BierGartenok Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2009 Oklahoma

    They are "Grandfathered" in. It's Parkhills and that big one in OKC. They can broker their own product in, ya its bullshit, but I guess that's what you get for being in business 60 Years
  22. tozerm

    tozerm Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2005 Washington

    One thing to note.... markup and margin are not the same thing. Virtually no one in the retail beverage business uses "markup"... it sounds like it shouldn't make a difference but look here:

    Beer A costs the store $10 per unit. A 30% markup would price that beer at $13.

    The same Beer A costs the store $10 per unit. A 30% margin would price the beer at $14.28

    The idea is simple.. markup relates to a percentage of the cost... margin relates to a percentage of the selling price. A 25-30% margin is a pretty standard range in my area for items that aren't on a feature or ad.
    PeterJ and beertunes like this.
  23. Brokentalontsi

    Brokentalontsi Initiate (0) Nov 10, 2012 Texas

    Genius at work here. Most, if not all, retailers care considerably more about margin than markup. On premise accounts run on average at 300% markup, off premise run an average of 22% margin (taking in the mark up on singles and the markdown on multipacks).
  24. Jimmyp7010

    Jimmyp7010 Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    A loss leader by definition is an item you sell for less than you bought it for. A door buster if you wil, supermarkets in my area will sell 30 packs of BMC for $15 around the holidays even though they are paying like $19 for them.
  25. PeterJ

    PeterJ Initiate (69) Dec 5, 2012 California

    They make up the loss from the back end from BMC
  26. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    Ah ha. Well, old money goes a long way when it comes to business, lobbyists, and politics.
    BierGartenok likes this.
  27. Jimmyp7010

    Jimmyp7010 Initiate (0) Mar 13, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Is this the case 100% of the time? I used to sell for a BMC distributor and I was always under the impression that the breweries were only picking up the rebate programs. Wal mart for example will immediately drop their price below any other supermarket on 30 packs if it is a big weekend like July 4 or Memorial Day. I am pretty sure Budweiser wasn't kicking back as it was not a programmed sale and there was no rebate just Walmarts refusal to be undersold.
  28. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (268) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    They make their money by moving huge volumes of BMC swill and small amounts of expensive craft.
  29. tozerm

    tozerm Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2005 Washington

    Except in states like Washington where it is illegal to sell alcohol below cost unless your are discontinuing the product in your establishment.
  30. mwrecording

    mwrecording Aspirant (210) Nov 14, 2009 Maryland

    Common in MD for 6pks to be 25-35% and bombers/750's to be the standard wine markup(50%)

    My store and from evaluating the price of some more expensive single bottles will sometimes drop that 50% markup to 35-40%...Fruet should have been about $29.99 everywhere using 50% but it was often between 30.99-35.99
  31. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    I own my own liquor store.

    Every state will be different. We have quite a bit of competition here in ky.

    And stores use markup when pricing items and margins when determining gross profit. A 25% markup leads to a 20% margin.

    And it is illegal to sell alcohol at below cost here. Walmart/big chains will sell BMC 30 packs at .75 cents above costs on average and .25 above on big holiday weekends.

    Liquor/wine can have a higher markup because the prices/discounts/free goods can vary month to month.
    HoppySuds likes this.
  32. beernut

    beernut Aspirant (294) Jun 6, 2008 New Jersey

    They are all different. But sometimes it is blatantly obvious that they are price gouging. The Shop-Rite liquors in Freehold, NJ off of Route 9 had DFH 120 for $19.99 a bottle, i've seen it at other stores between $8.99-$10.99. I've purchased it in the past and know the general price range, I saw that and was flabbergasted. Now just the other day I saw they had Sam Adams Utopias Anniversary in for $349.00. A buddy of mine paid around $170 not too long ago for the same one. It's a store I no longer shop at but always go and see what they have.
  33. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    From most I have spoken to, they operate on a 30-35% markup on average.
  34. LoneJedi

    LoneJedi Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2012 Tennessee

    I think alot of it depends on the distributors and them already having a longstanding relationship with older retail stores . 30-35% seems to be right. Though I know a few places that have lower gravity craft beers, charge $0.50 or more less per 12oz bottle yet make at least 40% and even up to 75-80%!!!!!!! Most people don't mind how much they make if they can get a 6ixer for $3 less . I would rather do business at some of the smaller shops that run a 20-30 margin . They are alot more friendly and every sale helps them to grow a good selection and prices almost as good as "THE MAN" .
  35. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    In my state, beer is usually case 1 pricing meaning the case prices are posted and the same for 1 or 1000. Sometimes they do offer quantity discounts but those deals are posted for everyone and are not significant enough to allow for one place to sell for 10% less than another.

    Liquor/wine is a whole other ballgame. Most deals are on pricing sheets but there are always off sheet deals. We are lucky to be in the biggest co-op in the state so we are almost always buying at top level discount.
  36. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    This thread sounds like a good bit of bloviating from people who aren't in the business...just sayin'...
  37. Picodegallo87

    Picodegallo87 Initiate (0) Apr 11, 2012 Illinois

    100% spot on, should be the first and last comment.
  38. Squatchito

    Squatchito Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2007 Virginia

    Depends on the item. Macros are typically loss leaders, craft and import 12 packs lower than target, 6 packs on or around target, bombers above. If available, singles and growler fills are profit drivers. They overall goal would be somewhere between 25% and 30%, generally speaking.
  39. Seanvino

    Seanvino Aspirant (248) Jan 5, 2009 California

    A general rule of thumb is the whole sale cost is 60% of the suggested retail price. So a 6 pack/bomber with a suggested retail price of $9.99 cost the retailer $6.00. This will vary significantly for high volume products (read BMC) where the retailer hope to make for low profit margins on high turnover. Each states laws will vary. In CA everyone pays the same price for 1 case or 1000 cases (no quantity discounts) and can't be sold below cost. A state like Oregon you can buy directly from distributers but you need to make a minimum purchase (and all the whales are already allocated). "Dock specials" was a college students friend when my brother was going to UO in the late '80's.
  40. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

    I was told 20% by one owner, whom I didn't even ask. He was telling me the price of a Four pack of Chimay Blue, and said that he has to make 20% on them. I know everyone will be different.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.