Since its founding in Miami in 1968 and with roots extending to pre-prohibition era Dallas, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s) has grown to become the world’s leading, and North America’s largest wine and spirits, distributor of beverage alcohol. A multi-generational, family-owned business that has realized this level of achievement could be forgiven for enjoying its hegemony and for easing into the future feeling confident that good times will continue. The inverse is true at Southern Glazer’s, which is bent on not just preparing itself for the next evolution of its industry, but for driving it.
Disruptors and innovators – shapers of the future – are perpetually challenging themselves and that sort of self-evaluation and disavowal of the status quo is something of a creed at Southern Glazer’s. To that end, the company does not benchmark itself against others in its category, it defines its own success and resolutely tracks performance against, and borrows best practices from the best that the business world has to offer. In the same manner, it seeks talent outside the walls of its industry, recognizing that diverse people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds are pre-requisites for transformation.
The right cocktail recipe
Southern Glazer’s evolutionary sprit has served it well over the decades as it is peerless in both its comprehensive North American beverage distribution footprint and the powerful relationships it has forged along the way with customers, partners, and suppliers. These ends have been achieved through what can best be described as a strategic growth plan, all driven by a long-term strategic view supported by regular reinvestment in the business, and by placing a premium on people.
Critical has been the pursuit of cutting edge technology that enhances logistics and operating performance while providing rich data insights. Indeed, Southern Glazer’s has developed the largest data set in its industry from which it gleans consumer insights, monitors channel preferences and account performance, and optimizes route-to-market analysis. With its state-of-the-art facilities and heavily automated warehouses, the company receives frequent accolades from industry observers for its outstanding agility in responding to changing business conditions and commitment to continuous improvement.
An extended family
Family-owned businesses tend to prioritize people, particularly employees. As a privately held, multi-generation family-owned business, Southern Glazer’s fits that mold, but in the extreme. Many of its investments are geared toward ensuring the success not just of its own business, but also of those with whom it associates and impacts. .
The company’s investments in expanded scale, capabilities, and tools obviously benefit its customers, who enjoy a more tailored experience. Southern Glazer’s also makes significant investments in resources for its employees and supplier partners, notably Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits University, a continuous education platform widely considered the most advanced beverage appreciation and evaluation institute in the world.
And its commitment to the communities in which it operates is as resolute as it is widespread. In support of the numerous, well-deserving charitable organizations it supports, Southern Glazer’s created its unique VolunCheers program to encourage, connect, and help facilitate its employee’s donations of time, talent, and resources across all of its markets.
A rapidly growing, innovative, privately held business that puts people first, Southern Glazer’s epitomizes the sort of business Grant Thornton was built to serve and we are proud to provide it with audit, tax, and consulting services as it continues to shape the future of its industry.