WAL-MART LOOKING AT BJ’S?

Wal-Mart Stores might make a bid soon for BJ’s Wholesale Club. The Daily Deal reported that Wal-Mart wants the No. 3 U.S. warehouse club operation primarily for its East Coast stores. BJ’s also is considered attractive because it has little debt and strong cash flow and is considered undervalued by the market. Wal-Mart owns Sam’s Club, a bigger rival to BJ’s.

GARFIELD ON A-B. Ad Age critic Bob Garfield praises the latest A-B ad, ‘Who would you?’ The ad shows guys at a bar discussing who they would ‘do’ at the office. Cut to the office, a girls answers the same question with, “Nobody.” Says Garfield : “The object here is to connect Budweiser’s allegedly “true” beer to all that is true in the preoccupations of its target audience. Others try to do so by obnoxiously trotting out silly adolescent fantasies and pretending the whole exercise is parody. But fake boobs have nothing on human truth. Portraying genuine frailties in an endearing way isn’t just art. It’s also good advertising.”

CLARIFICATION ON SABMILLER / 7-ELEVEN DEAL. Beer Business Daily got clarity from MBCo spokesman Mike Hennick, who always shoots us straight, that SABMiller is simply brewing Santiago for 7-Eleven under contract (not a “joint venture,” as 7-Eleven said) and the brand will be distributed by Miller distributors.

CONSTELLATION BRANDS: MODELO STILL ROCKING. Constellation execs said in an analyst conference call last week that the beer, wine, and spirits company (owns western Corona importer Barton) is still going strong despite some high debt, lead by Corona dollar sales. The price increase on the brand has increased sales nicely and CEO Richard Sands said Corona ‘s outlook is “quite bright.” It is the seventh largest beer in the US and climbing, and he pointed out that it transcends import status and is a mainstream brand. Sands said he sees “nothing on the horizon to impede our growth.”

While Barton’s Modelo shipments were down slightly, wholesale shipments, and retail shipments of Modelo up slightly for their fiscal Q4 (ending Feb 28) which is what they expected as distributors and retailers bought in before last year’s price increase. Last year depletions up 20% while brand was running up 12% before the April 1 increase.

NBWA AND ABL CALL FOR SOT TAX REPEAL. The NBWA and the American Beverage Licensees (ABL) have co-written a letter to members of Congress supporting legislation to repeal the Special Occupational Tax (SOT), which is a tax on all businesses that sell alcohol. “With the slow down of the economy, small businesses are struggling to stay strong and vibrant in their communities,” said NBWA President David Rehr. Senators Jim Bunning (KY) and Max Bauchus (MT) have introduced S. 374 to repeal the SOT, and Representatives Dave Camp (MI-4) and Bob Matsui (CA-5) have introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 786. More than 100 members of Congress support legislation to repeal this tax. Liquor and beer retailers are charged a tax of $250 per store that sells alcohol, while wholesalers are charged $500 and producers $1,000. Because the tax is imposed on each location of an operation, small wholesalers and retailers often bear a disproportionate burden in comparison to larger manufacturers.

MTD Sell Day: 10 Sell Days This Month: 22 Sell Days This Month Last Year: 22 YTD Over/Under Sell Days: 0 This Month Ends on a: Wed. Last Year This Month Ended on a: Tue.