B. Riley Financial
Jul 23, 2012
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Great American Group Notes Wine Producers, Distributors in Good Spirits as Consumers Quench Pent-Up Thirst

— Demand is Driving Up Sales and Prices —

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to analysts with Great American Group, LLC (OTCBB: GAMR), a leading provider of asset disposition, valuation and appraisal services, wine and spirit sales are rising steadily despite rising prices and widespread uncertainty in the domestic and international financial markets.

Wine and spirits sales rose several percentage points in May, and year-over-year sales are even higher, although market activity is still below historic levels, according to research groups. Sales of premium wine — bottles priced at $20 or more — have performed particularly well over the past year, rising by more than 25 percent.

Despite the generally positive sales figures, the wine industry's expansion appears to be slowing, as recent wine sales have not kept pace with year-over-year rates. Demand and weaker-than-expected harvests have driven up bulk wine prices. However, the same cannot be said for the spirits industry. Sales accelerated in recent months as consumers poured into liquor stores during the summer's Cinco de Mayo and Independence Day holidays.

"After stark price increases in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, decade-high prices in the bulk wine market have remained relatively consistent in the most recent quarter," said Lester Friedman, CEO of Great American Group's Advisory & Valuation Services Division. "These high prices, coupled with market uncertainty and the need to conserve space for the 2012 harvest, have made potential buyers cautious and dampened bulk wine sales volumes."

The brutal Midwestern heat wave and consequent drought threatens to drive up commodity prices for spirits producers, according to Great American Group analysts. In a year when farmers planted additional acreage to take advantage of high crop prices, predicted yields have been decimated. Prices for corn, wheat, and rye are expected to grow as the summer heat withers yields, forcing producers to dip into stocks. According to many observers, yields will drop further if the weather does not relent.

For more information about industry trends in wine and spirits, download Great American Group's newest quarterly Wine and Spirits Monitor — available on the company's website at http://www.greatamerican.com/news_media/downloads/Wine_Monitor_July.pdf.

For more information about asset disposition, valuation and appraisal services available through Great American Group, visit the company's website at www.greatamerican.com.

About Great American Group, LLC (GAMR-G)

Great American Group, LLC, is a leading provider of asset disposition solutions and valuation and appraisal services to a wide range of industrial and retail clients, as well as lenders, capital providers, private equity investors and professional service firms. Great American Group has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina, and San Francisco. For more information, contact (818) 884-3737 or visit www.greatamerican.com.

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Media Contacts:
Great American Group
Connie Stevens, Marketing Manager
847-444-1400 ext. 2320
cstevens@greatamerican.com
or
Mulberry Marketing Communications
Ron Whittington, Senior Account Executive
904-355-8680
rwhittington@mulberrymc.com

Source: Great American Group, LLC

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