Article originally posted by WDRB-TV Web site directed to: http://www.fox41.com/story/11108581/group-seeks-wine-sales-in-grocery-stores?redirected=true
Group seeks wine sales in grocery stores
A group that wants wine sales in grocery stores in Kentucky has started an online petition drive. The group is seeking grassroots support to put pressure on state lawmakers.
It’s an organization representing local grocery companies, including market leader Kroger. It’s asking for the public’s support to encourage legislative action so that wine can be sold in grocery stores.
At Old Town Liquors in the Highlands, hundreds of brands of wine are on sale. Wine is the biggest seller at that store, and groceries would like to get in on the action. There’s plenty of beer for sale at a nearby Kroger store, but you won’t find any wine there. However, some grocers would like to change that. Kroger spokesman Tim McGurk says, “It’s far and away the number one requested item from our customers. They see it for sale when they go to Indiana, and they see it in Florida when they go on vacation. They really appreciate that convenience.”
And Luke Schmidt with the Food with Wine Coalition explains, “The grocery store industry decided that the time has come to ask the General Assembly to change existing law to allow grocery stores to sell wine just as it’s done in 34 other states.”
The Food with Wine Coaltion, which represents the grocery industry, is launching a petition drive encouraging customers to go online and sign up in support of wine sales at grocery stores. As Schmidt puts it, “For consumers it’s going to expand competition, it’s going to expand choice, and will eliminate the monopoly liquor stores have had going all the way back to Prohibition.”
The issue has come up before without success in the Kentucky General Assembly. But supporters believe with more stores selling wine, sales will increase and that will boost tax revenue, giving lawmakers a way to raise more money during tough economic times. Schmidt says, “We project over the first two years, Kentucky will collect an addiitonal $30.1 million in tax revenue.”
But Gordon Jackson, the owner of Old Town Liquors, won’t be signing the petition: I think the customer is much better served to use a locally-owned wine shop where somebody is very interested in wine and understands it rather than just randomly grabbing something off the shelf at a jumbo retailer.”