Total Wine & More, the Maryland-based chain of liquor stores that moved into the Metroplex a couple years ago, is taking over the former Ultimate Electronics location near the Highlands in south Arlington.Ed Cooper, Total Wine’s vice president of public affairs and community relations, confirmed Wednesday that the retailer is negotiating a lease for the 32,000-square-foot space along Interstate 20 and has applied for permits and licenses. The company plans a late third-quarter opening, he said.Ultimate Electronics pulled out of the market in 2005, three years after opening, after filing for bankruptcy. The Arlington store was one of 10 in the Metroplex closed by the consumer electronics chain and is believed to have been vacant since. Cooper said Total Wine & More will make changes to the building’s facade and the interior, offering “all of the bells and whistles that Texas customers have come to expect from us. We’re happy to take the space.”Total Wine & More stores carry thousands of wines, spirits and beers. It is also known for its customer service and having well-trained store associates. The Arlington store will have 50 full- and part-time employees, Cooper said.Total Wine & More’s entrance into Arlington comes after voters in November approved package liquor stores to open in the city.Total Wine & More opened a store in a former OfficeMax location in the Hulen Fashion Center south of Interstate 20 in Fort Worth in late 2012. In a couple of weeks, it will open a store in Vista Ridge Village in Lewisville. It also has two Plano stores, and one each in Dallas and in San Antonio, according to its website.The Arlington store will be similar to the Fort Worth location, Cooper said, offering a classroom and a “brewery district” featuring Texas craft beers.“Texas is an absolute win for us,” Cooper said. Total Wine & More was founded in 1991 and has more than 100 stores in 15 states.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST