Davis Liquor Outlet, one of Wichita, Kansas’s larger beverage alcohol retail players, has expanded to a fifth location. The business is operated by Brian Davis, his father John, and his son Blake. “There’s a 20-year age difference between the three of us, which really helps us balance things,” says Brian—whose wife Carri, mother Jean, and sister Kim Davis—are also involved in the operation. John originally founded the store in 1975, so many of the customers have watched Brian grow up. “It makes for real connections and a true sense of loyalty,” Brian says.
The new, 7,200-square-foot store, which opened at the end of August, aims to offer “something for everyone” in its selection. The location is Davis Liquor Outlet’s first on Wichita’s west side, an area Brian says will attract a more upscale clientele—though prices and discounts will remain the same. The store offers 557 wine SKUs, with popular items including Noble Vines Cabernet Sauvignon ($12 a 750-ml.), Barefoot Wine Refresh Red ($7), Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($15), and Kendall Jackson Chardonnay ($14). Locally produced wines from the likes of Grace Hill Winery and Wyldewood Cellars also do well. Davis notes the current popularity in canned wines by brands including Starborough, House Wines, André, Cupcake Vineyards, and Prophecy.
The store stocks a full range of 617 spirits SKUs. Some popular spirits include Bourbons like F.E.W. ($50 a 750-ml.), Angel’s Envy ($54), and Eagle Rare 10-year-old ($37), and such single malt Scotches as The Glenlivet 18-year-old ($120) and The Macallan Classic Cut ($105). Local spirits from Wichita’s own Wheat State Distillery are also available, including its vodka ($25), gin ($31), and Bourbon ($54).
The store also stocks 602 beer SKUs, with such mainstream options as Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Budweiser (all $17 a 24-pack of 12-ounce cans). Craft offerings include Avery Brewing Co.’s White Rascal ale ($10 a 6-pack of 12-ounce cans), Ska Brewing Co.’s Modus Hoperandi IPA ($9), and New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Fat Tire amber ale ($10), as well as beers from local breweries like Wichita Brewing Co., Walnut River Brewing Co., Central Standard Brewing, and Norton Brewing Co. “Craft beer is where we’re going to be able to make money moving forward, just because of what grocery stores can and can’t sell,” Brian says.
The store’s niche snack selection also sets it apart, with hard-to-find items like Herr’s chips ($1) and Dot’s pretzels ($5) on offer. “Every store can have Doritos on their shelf, but we have Dakota Style chips from the Dakotas and Herr’s chips from the Northeast,” Brian says. “We just want to offer customers something a little bit different.”
Davis Liquor Outlet offers different discounts depending on the day of the week, as well as everyday discounts for senior citizens, active military members, and veterans. The store sends out an email newsletter to more than 1,000 subscribers at the beginning of each month, providing 15 coupons as well as information on new products and events, which are conducted in-store by employees.
Although its business now has five units, the Davis family will focus on developing the new store, which is legally licensed under Carri’s name. Kansas law limits beverage alcohol retailers to one license per person, so the fact that multiple family members are involved in Davis Liquor Outlet is an advantage. “Having my parents, my son, my wife, and my sister to work with—it just makes life a little easier when your family is there,” Davis says. “Whenever a customer comes into Davis Liquor Outlet location, they can be sure that a Davis is always on hand.”