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Total Wine expansion in New York rebuffed by NY Supreme Court for third time

US drinks retailer Total Wine has lost its appeal to expand its footprint New York, following the rejection of its case by the NY Supreme Court.

The New York Supreme Court has rejected the Maryland-based wine giant’s bid to open a second store in the state at in College Point, Flushing in Queens, the Shanken Daily News reported, upholding a decision by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) last June. The retailer first applied for the license in August 2019.

It is the third time Total Wine, which has more than 200 stores in 26 states across the US, has been barred from opening a second store in the New York area. In September 2019, the court refused to grant the wine retailers with a license for a proposed site in Westchester, saying it was “not appropriate for the region”, while an earlier bid to open a store in Stony Brook was also rejected by the state liquor board.

Under New York state law, national drinks chains are banned from applying for a state license to open and operate stores in the states, in a bid to protect ‘mom and pop’ stores,  however entrepreneurs affiliated with national firms are able to apply for a single license for an individual store under a different corporate name. In 2016, Total Wines’ co-founder David Trone obtained a retail liquor license for a new retailer, Westbury FIne Wines, part of the newly formed New York Fine Wine & Spirits LLC, which operates as Total Wines. The store opened in 2017.

However, Judge Pam Jackman Brown ruled that Total Wine failed to meet the “public convenience and advantage” standard for opening a second store,  and as a result, dismissed the petition.

Total Wines & More was established in xxx by brothers Robert and David Trone.

In 2017 the retailer won a major victory in South Carolina, after the state’s supreme court branded a cap on the number of stores a retailer can have as “unconstitutional”.

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