Wally's Wine & Spirits, the biggest wine merchant in Los Angeles, has been bought by Maurice and Paul Marciano, co-founders of fashion business Guess.
The Marciano brothers, long-term customers of Wally’s, joined forces with store co-owner Christian Navarro to complete the purchase from Wally’s founder Steve Wallace, who is about to retire.
Opened in 1968 on Westwood Boulevard, West LA, Wally’s has built a strong reputation for its range and customer service, with Hollywood customers including Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.
‘My brother Paul and I have been buying wines from Wally’s for 20 years, dealing extensively with Steve and Christian,’ said Maurice Marciano.
‘When we heard that Steve was thinking of retiring, we immediately contacted him and expressed our interest in purchasing the business, but only on the condition that Christian would remain in a leadership role.’
Described as wine connoisseurs with a particular passion for Bordeaux and the Napa Valley, the Marcianos are reported to be considering the expansion of Wally’s into other cities across the US.
Paul Marciano said they were ‘absolutely committed’ to protecting and building on Wally’s reputation for product quality and customer service.
Maurice Marciano recently bought a boutique winery in St Helena, Napa Valley, which he has renamed Marciano Estate.
The winery’s first vintage, a 2012 Bordeaux-style red wine, is due for release in 2014.
Guess was founded in 1981 by brothers Maurice, Paul, Armand and Georges Marciano, but is now run by Maurice and Paul.
The company had revenues of US$2.7bn in the year ended 2 February, and underlying net profits of US$187.5m.
Written by Richard Woodard