The nation’s largest retailer is focusing on a new market: beer.
At a meeting with liquor industry representatives last year, a Walmart executive said that the chain planned to double its sales of alcoholic beverages by 2016. The company hasn’t released sales figures, but at least one person familiar with Walmart’s supply chain told Bloomberg that the company is “getting there quick.”
Walmart’s declaration that it wants to be the top beer seller in the world is good news for suppliers. A Walmart spokesperson said the retailer has received “positive” feedback from distributors, with which it maintains “collaborative” relationships.
The retailer has always sold alcohol, though its founder Sam Walton once famously banned liquor from company events after some employees drank too much at a picnic.
Walmart is now promoting adult beverage sales, offering discounts and setting up in-store displays. Walmart offers a wide range of beer brands, including craft beers.
Shares pf Walmart fell modestly in Friday midday trading.