Sherry Lehman, NYC Venerable Wine Store Catering to Connoisseurs, in Danger of Closing Due to Financial Hit - The Jewish Voice
35.3 F
New York
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Sherry Lehman, NYC Venerable Wine Store Catering to Connoisseurs, in Danger of Closing Due to Financial Hit

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

-Advertisement-

Must read

Sherry Lehman, NYC Venerable Wine Store Catering to Connoisseurs, in Danger of Closing Due to Financial Hit

Edited by: TJVNews.com

Since the Covid pandemic struck in early 2020, many iconic New York City businesses suffered major financial hurdles while others were forced to shutter their doors for good.

It was recently reported in the New York Post that the preeminent wine store that caters to the affluent and sophisticated liquor connoisseurs known as Sherry Lehman is in danger of closing. Its free-spending corporate clientele continue to shy away from Midtown Manhattan, even in the aftermath of the pandemic.

In 1934, in the midst of Prohibition, whiskey connoisseurs Sam Aaron and his brother, Jack — a reputed bootlegger during this time period opened this liquor store, which, 88 years later, has moved locations several times but has remained at 505 Park Avenue since 2007.

Sherry-Lehman built a reputation as a gateway to the US market for fine French wineries, the Post reported.  Sam Aaron, a trained psychologist with a knack for marketing, once bragged of his failed attempt to corner the market on Chateau Petrus, one of the finest wines from Bordeaux, the paper said.

Forbes has once voted their delivery website one of the best on the web, thanks to their focus on service and their vast selection of wines and spirits, from $20 bottles of Chianti to $500 bottles of Bordeaux.

The venerable wine and liquor institution, which once counted Greta Garbo among its loyal customers  is credited with introducing Dom Perignon to the US in 1946, according to the New York Post. Sources have told the paper that as the city struggles in its recovery efforts in the aftermath of the pandemic, Sherry Lehman has been unsuccessful in the expansion of its business nationwide.

The Patch.com reported that Sherry Lehman faces customer complaints about wine they bought that went undelivered, lawsuits from shippers who say they never got paid, and the store must pay millions in delinquent taxes, according to city, state and online records.

The tax problem is so large that Sherry-Lehmann appears on the New York’s Taxation and Finance department’s list of top delinquent taxpayers, ranking ninth in the state with $3.16 million in outstanding tax warrants, as Patch previously reported.

Speaking to the Post, , James Gazzale, a spokesman for the Department of Taxation and Finance said of Sherry Lehman, “They are high on this list. We are trying to communicate with them and find a mutually beneficial way to have them resolve it as quickly as possible. If we can’t come to some arrangement, we [can] seize the business.”

Sources have also told the Post that vendors of the store are justifiably expressing concern about payment for goods and are demanding unusually strict payment terms from Sherry-Lehmann’s current owners.  The current owners are Kris Green, a former hedge fund executive who took an undisclosed stake in the business in 2013, and Shyda Gilmer, a veteran employee who is now its chief executive, the Post reported.

A source with extensive knowledge of the situation told the Post that “suppliers are now forcing Sherry-Lehmann to wire them the money because their checks were bouncing,”

In recent years, however, the storied liquor retailer to its upscale clientele has been challenged by costly and ill-fated decisions, the Post reported. The biggest may have been a 2007 decision to leave its Manhattan flagship from 679 Madison Ave. — where it had owned its real estate for 60 years — a move that coincided with the departure of the Aaron family’s last steward of the business, Michael Aaron, the Post added in its report.

Another source with knowledge of the business told the Post that Sherry Lehman pays close to $2 million in annual rent for its three-story, 9,500-square-foot, glass-and-steel Park Avenue space at the corner of East 59th Street.

Sources also told the Post that in 2017, Sherry Lehman closed a warehouse near the Los Angeles International airport. At the time, the company was geared toward a grand opening of a store there as a first step towards building a national brand.

The source told the Post that “they decided to sell the building they own to bring in capital and open Sherry-Lehmann West in Los Angeles, but it was a huge bust.Now they have to rent.”

The Post also reported that earlier this year, Sherry-Lehmann also shuttered its 65,000-square-foot warehouse in Jamaica, Queens, where it held inventory for wealthy clients who buy multiple cases at a time of pricey Burgundy, Champagne and rare whiskies and cognacs.

At its current, three-story, 9,500-square-foot, glass-and-steel Park Avenue space at the corner of East 59th Street, Sherry-Lehmann pays nearly $2 million in annual rent, a source with knowledge of the business told The Post.

Meanwhile, the company quietly shuttered a warehouse it opened in 2017 near Los Angeles International airport as it eyed the grand opening of a store there — a first step toward a now-scrapped ambition to build a nationwide brand, according to sources.

“They decided to sell the building they own to bring in capital and open Sherry-Lehmann West in Los Angeles, but it was a huge bust,” the source said. “Now they have to rent.”

Earlier this year, Sherry-Lehmann also shuttered its 65,000-square-foot warehouse in Jamaica, Queens, where it held inventory for wealthy clients who buy multiple cases at a time of pricey Burgundy, Champagne and rare whiskies and cognacs.

balance of natureDonate

Latest article

- Advertisement -
EnglishHebrew
Skip to content