Oklahoma Law Change Prompts New Distributorships

A recent change in Oklahoma law has reshaped the state’s distribution landscape.

Technically the state had for many years run a four-tier system, with brokers a legally separate entity. However, legislation passed last year in the state, which was set to become official Oct. 1, has now merged the brokerage category with importers/distributors.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits reacted with a joint venture with Jarboe Sales Company, LLLP.

The partnership was originally announced in December of 2017. It formally creates an integrated wine, spirits and beer wholesaling operation that will operate under the name Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Oklahoma, LLLP.

Effective Oct. 1, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Oklahoma can now service a significantly expanded customer base of more than 3,700 grocery and convenience stores in the state, the company says, in addition to selling to its existing base of retail customers. The new company will operate as part of Southern Glazer’s Central Region.

Elsewhere, Republic National Distributing Company and Central Liquor Company joined forces for a new distributorship: RNDC Oklahoma. The partnership became official Oct. 1, 2018.

Since 2004, RNDC has partnered with the Naifeh family of CLC through its brokerage operation in the state. This joint venture is a result of a historic law change that shifted Oklahoma from a four-tier system to a three-tier system — a move that will expand the new company’s retail customer base by nearly 3,700 accounts, the company says.

“October 1 is a momentous day for the state of Oklahoma, and for RNDC,” says RNDC Executive Vice President and COO Bob Hendrickson. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to move from being a broker to a distributor, and expand our valued and longstanding partnership with the Naifeh family and their Oklahoma team.”

The new joint venture operates out of a 406,000-sq.-ft. automated distribution center in centrally located Oklahoma City, enabling efficient service to its customers across all 77 counties in Oklahoma.

“We take great pride in the roots our family has established in Oklahoma. Following the repeal of Prohibition, we became just the sixth company to receive a liquor license,” says CLC Partner Greg Naifeh. “It is only fitting that changes in legislation would once again mark a new chapter in our family’s story with this significant partnership with RNDC.”

“Building upon the strong foundation set by Central and RNDC, together we look forward to leveraging the best location in the state to bring superior service and offerings from our supplier partners to Oklahoma retailers and restaurateurs,” adds Hendrickson.

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