Twin Liquors opened its 80th Texas store earlier this year, coinciding with its 80th year in business. The Austin-based, family-owned chain of beverage alcohol stores is one of a few retail behemoths in Texas to continue expanding in the crowded and highly competitive market.
But those numbers don’t matter all that much, says Twin Liquors president David Jabour, who owns the chain with his sister, Margaret. “We never focus on growth for the sheer numbers,” David says. “It’s really about focusing on markets, focusing on the consumers and recognizing the opportunities for our team and for the brands as they’re sold in our stores.”
Margaret Jabour, who is executive vice president, says the company is heavily focused on supplier and brand partnerships, noting that key national brands are called “designer labels” in their stores. “Those partnerships ignite our passion for growth,” she says.
Twin Liquors isn’t stopping at 80 stores. “We have several stores in progress right now—half a dozen or so that will open in the next few months,” David says. He and his sister are third-generation owners of Twin Liquors, which their grandparents launched in Austin in 1937. The first two generations operated just a single store. It wasn’t until 1993 that the siblings decided to expand, adding a second store in Austin. Further expansion ramped up slowly until the 2000s. “Most of the growth occurred over the past 10 or 15 years,” David says.
That growth has included pushing outward from their Austin base, moving north to the Waco area and into the western Texas hill country. Twin Liquors also expanded south to San Antonio and then looked southeast into Houston. The 80th store, which opened in February, is the third Twin Liquors store in the Houston area.
Matthew Metz, executive vice president and general manager for Texas for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, says Twin Liquors is successfully navigating expansion in the highly competitive marketplace. “It’s the second-largest package store chain that Southern Glazer’s has in Texas,” Metz says. “The company grew at above-market rates with us in 2016, so they’re definitely going in the right direction.” He adds that Margaret and David Jabour are “two of the most respected retailers in Texas and in the United States.”
Both Jabours say competition is intense in the Texas market, but their recipe of passion, knowledge and customer service allows them to continue on the growth path. “It takes great focus and a great team of associates who have great knowledge and passion for brands and an understanding of the industry,” Margaret explains. “Knowing our communities and knowing what our customers’ needs are—that’s how we’re different.”
David realizes that younger consumers might have different habits or expectations at retail. “It’s about recognizing what the consumer is telling us, whether it’s product mix or whatever the new bastion of convenience is,” he says. “We’ve always focused on being close to and understanding the consumer.”
A younger generation of the Jabour family is also getting involved. Margaret has two sons who work at the company and notes that she and her brother are “excited and focused on the fourth generation.” David Jabour has three children, all currently teenagers, but he clearly has expectations as well. “The fourth generation is maturing in the business,” he says.