How empires topple

Every major wine market in the United States has one dominant distributor and one dominant retailer (or a chain of stores).

Sometimes it’s not actually obvious who the dominant players are, but just a little bit of research will easily unlock the secret of who sells the most wine.

These are the empires. And just like the Roman Empire they are capable of toppling. How do empires topple? Change, simple as that.

When things change yet the empires stay the same (usually defiantly holding their ground under the guise of “we’re too big to fail”) then things get really interesting and opportunity arises.

The world of organized labor and taxis never saw Uber coming.

The world of Wal-Mart and Target never saw Amazon coming.

The world of Hilton never saw Airbnb coming.

What’s the future of the wine business? And as soon as you think about that, examine how to move your business or sales model toward the changing forces. Don’t be part of the empire that topples, but rather be part of the change.

(Hint: Uber doesn’t own a fleet of cars. Amazon carries very little inventory vs. what they sell. Airbnb owns no property. Maybe the big players in the wine industry will stay big, but they are getting nibbled at slowly by some interesting facts that are out there.)

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