Posted on October 09, 2008

Journal of Business

By David Cole of The Journal of Business


Click Wholesale plans to serve North Idaho and Eastern Washington

SPOKANE - Seattle based Click Wholesale Distributing Inc., a distributor of wine and specialty beer, plans to open a new wine and beer distributorship that will serve parts of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, the company's top executive says.

The new distributorship will be called Click Distributing East, and it will operate from leased facilities at 3808 N Sullivan in Spokane Valley and at 1379 Biztown Loop, in Hayden, Idaho.

It will distribute fine wines and specialty beers to retailers and restaurants.

Jim Florio, the company's chairman and CEO, says Click's two new facilities tentatively are expected to begin operating on Oct. 20.

Florio says Click decided to establish a presence here because a Spokane-area distributor, Harvest Vine Distributing, is closing later this month.

"That left many of our brands with few distribution choices, in Eastern Washington and North Idaho," Florio says. A representative of Harvest Vine couldn't be reached for comment.

Click will hire a total of 11 people to staff the Spokane Valley and Hayden facilities, Florio says.

The additional workers will boost the company's total workforce to 64 employees.

The company's main distribution center for Eastern Washington will be at the Spokane Valley location, which will have about 10,000 square feet of floor space, Florio says.

Click also, however, will have a small office along with some inventory at the Hayden warehouse, which will occupy about 1,200 square feet of floor space, says Florio.

The Spokane Valley and Hayden warehouses should meet the company's growth needs for about two to three years he says.

At that time, the company has options to move into larger spaces if necessary, Florio says.

The company's Western Washington business has increased by about 20 percent this year, says Florio.

"We are experiencing tremendous growth in the craft-beer segment and look to see this trend continue for quite a while," he says.

The company is adding warehouse space in Western Washington, along with other operational resources, and employees.

By early next year, Click plans to move from a 12,000 square foot warehouse in Seattle to one there that's 36,000 square feet.

Click Wholesale Distributing Inc., founded in 2002, is co-owned by Florio and Rick Steckler. In Western Washington the company serves customers in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston counties.