Total Wine & More

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Retail Services & Systems, Inc.
Founded1991; 28 years ago (1991) (as Liquor World)
Claymont, Delaware, U.S.
FoundersDavid Trone
Robert Trone
HeadquartersNorth Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
193 stores (2018)
Key people
Former CEO Kevin Peters (2015–2016)[citation needed]
ProductsWine, spirits, beer, cigars, gifts, accessories
Number of employees
7,000+ (estimated)

Total Wine & More is a large, family-owned, privately held American alcohol retailer founded and led by brothers David and Robert Trone.[1] Total Wine & More was named Retailer of the Year by Market Watch in 2006, Beverage Dynamics in 2008, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2004 and 2014.[2] The company is headquartered in North Bethesda, Maryland.[3]


In 1985, Trone and family members opened stores in the Pittsburgh area known as Beer and Pop Warehouse and later Beer World, though legal experiences in Pennsylvania led them to leave the state.[4]

In 1991 brothers David and Robert Trone founded Liquor World as a small, independent store in Claymont, Delaware, which was followed with a second store in Milltown, Delaware. Liquor World grew steadily through the 1990s, expanding down the east coast. The Trones acquired D.C.-area chain Total Beverage in 1998, adopting and modifying that company's moniker for their business.[5][6] Total Wine entered Florida in 2005, and then California and Arizona in 2007.[citation needed]

In 2016, Total Wine was served with several-day license suspensions by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for selling liquor below its costs – a loss leader pricing strategy not allowed in some states. Total Wine sued the state's regulators to overturn the suspensions, and won based on the final cost of the liquor being less than that shown on the initial invoices.[7][8][9]

As of December 2018, Total Wine has 193 stores in 23 states.[10] It conducts online sales in 14 states that allow online alcohol sales.[citation needed]

Business operations[edit]

Owned and operated by Retail Services and Systems,[11][12] Total Wine & More offers a large selection of products and advertises them as competitive in price. Each Total Wine store carries approximately 8,000 different wines from around the world, 3,000 types of spirits (where permitted by law), and 2,500 beers. Stores also carries accessories, gifts, and cigars.

Total Wine & More has about 7,000 employees, including 500 employees at their corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and 800 wine specialists.[10]

Typically, Total Wine & More stores are 20,000–50,000 square feet (1,900–4,600 m2) in size. Total Wine provides in-house publications to their customers, including Total Wine & More's Guide to Wine, the Total Wine & More Total Guide to Beer, Guide to Spirits, a quarterly Buying Guide which lists brands and prices, and a quarterly newsletter (The Wine Advisor).

The company's 2014 revenue was estimated to be more than $1.5 billion.[13] Co-owner David Trone said that year that the company planned to be at $2 billion in revenues in 2015, and over $3 billion in 2019.[14]

Corporate philanthropy[edit]

Over the past two decades, Total Wine & More has supported local, regional and national charities with more than $100 million in in-kind and monetary donations. In 2018, Total Wine donated over $9,000,000 to 13,000+ organizations in 23 states.[15] Total Wine received the 2014 Market Watch Award for Community Service from Market Watch, a US alcohol beverage industry publication.[16] Wine Spectator editor Marvin Shanken said, "The level of time, energy and financial resources that David and Robert Trone have devoted to community service is truly remarkable."[17]

Customer education[edit]

Total Wine & More offers a variety of opportunities for their customers to learn more about the wines, beer and spirits that are sold in their stores. Each store hosts weekly tastings, special events and classes where customers can learn from experts, winemakers, brew masters and industry professionals (as allowed by different state laws).[18] Total Wine pioneered the live virtual tasting, where well-known winemakers host a tasting from their vinyard, which is streamed live in Total Wine's classrooms.[19]

Education Centers are also made available for use in every local community. Total Wine & More offers free meeting space for local businesses, clubs, and organizations. Located in over 60 Total Wine stores, each Center is a private room equipped for meeting hosting, and the stores also provide a complimentary 30-minute wine tasting for all attendees (as allowed by different state laws).[20]

Adam Strum, chairman of Wine Enthusiast, said of Total Wine: "They're very focused on educating the consumer...they really invest a lot of time in their employees, their training. That's one of the reasons they have been so fabulously successful."[21]


  1. ^ "Our Leadership". Total Wine & More. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Morris, Asia (June 4, 2015). "Family-Owned Retail Giant Total Wine & More Opens First Long Beach Location". Long Beach Post. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Metcalf, Andrew (September 16, 2015). "Total Wine & More Dedicates New Bethesda Headquarters". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Peck, Louis (February 22, 2016). "David Trone's Path to Business Success Included Three Arrests Involving Disputes with State Authorities". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "The brothers behind Washington's booze". Washington Business Journal. December 5, 2014. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Wheaton, Kathleen (November 2015). "The Givers". Bethesda Magazine.
  7. ^ Adams, Dan (May 20, 2017). "For Total Wine, it's total war against alcohol regulations". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Daily News Update: From Boston Globe" (PDF). NABCA. National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. May 23, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Adams, Dan (July 26, 2017). "Total Wine wins challenge on discount pricing". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Our Company". Total Wine & More. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Terms & Conditions". Total Wine & More. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "Company Profile". D&B Hoovers. Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  13. ^ Vomhof Jr., John (March 5, 2014). "2 big-box liquor-store chains may make stir in Washington". Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  14. ^ "Interview, Part 1: Total Wine Aims For $3B In Sales Within Five Years". Shanken News Daily. M. Shanken Communications, Inc. April 22, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "Corporate Philanthropy". Total Wine & More.
  16. ^ Frager, Ray (September 30, 2014). "Total Wine wins community service award". Maryland Daily Record. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  17. ^ "Total Wine & More Receives Prestigious 2014 Market Watch Award for Community Service" (Press release). Potomac, MD: Total Wine & More. PR Newswire. September 29, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Social Responsibility". Total Wine & More. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  19. ^ "Interview, Part 2: Total Wine & More's David Trone". Shanken News Daily. M. Shanken Communications, Inc. April 23, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  20. ^ "Book Our Room". Total Wine & More. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  21. ^ Cooper, Rebecca (December 5, 2014). "The Brothers Behind Washington's Booze". Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015.

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