Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Spirited Sales

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wine1.jpgCheck out rising spirits sales at Constellation Brands.

Today’s winner in the consumer products arena is wine, which looks to be a must-have item as higher gasoline prices demand more of consumers’ paychecks.

Constellation Brands, which makes Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong sales, and backed its full-year outlook.

Brands such as Simi and Kim Crawford helped Constellation achieve double-digit growth in the United States.

While consumers are willing to buy finer wines, they are trading down with rental cars. Dollar Thrifty Automotive cut its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday, citing tough operating conditions. Competitor Hertz said in an interview that while consumers were still renting cars, they are opting for smaller ones that are more fuel-efficient.

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