An iconic New York City wine shop is now owned by its employees, in a historic move by its owners, the Fisher family. The company has been sold to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which allows employees to hold shares of the company and receive a portion of its profits.
The company announced the sale in a Sept. 12 tweet. The message states that the shop’s plan is to “entrust Astor to the people who have been so instrumental in building our enterprise.”
The sale, announced today, was made to an ESOP, in which shares of the business are allocated to the employees. Astor's owners, the Fisher family, explained: "the best succession plan is to entrust Astor to the people who have been so instrumental in building our enterprise.” pic.twitter.com/8NDF1NzSbg
— Astor Wines & Spirits (@astorwines) September 12, 2022
The bottle shop sits at the corner of Lafayette and 4th Street in the East Village. It also has a vast online store with local delivery capabilities. Astor Wine & Spirits was a longtime Greenwich Village resident, moving to the 50 percent larger space in the historic De Vinne Press Building in 2014.
“By becoming an employee-owned business, we ensure that Astor Wines & Spirits will maintain our qualitative standards in selection and service while providing the additional benefit of rewarding our outstanding team.”
In addition to in-person shopping and online retail, the NYC landmark is also known for its free tastings and other in-store events.