Feature Coverage

What Wholesalers’ Inventory Depletions Reveal About Industry Recovery

11 wine and spirits distributor executives share the purchasing trends they are seeing—and how they predict the rebound will play out across the U.S.

Vaccinations are here, weather is warming, and restaurants in every state are now open at some capacity.

Rocco Lombardo, the president of Wilson Daniels, which has wholesale operations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Oregon, echoes the mixed-bag sentiment: “Markets like New York and California are still seeing difficult conditions, but places like Texas and Florida are thriving.”

In spite of restaurants’ new alcohol-to-go sales privileges and the return of in-person dining, on-premise sales do not seem to be cutting into off-premise numbers. “The velocity off-premise continues to trend in a dynamic fashion,” says Lombardo. “In Q1 of this year, business was up an incredible 40 percent, with growth predominantly driven by the suburbs. The challenge for our wholesale business remains in Manhattan and the five boroughs where a large majority of employees have not returned to the workplace.”

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What Wholesalers’ Inventory Depletions Reveal About Industry Recovery