Independent Retailers Push States to OK Liquor Sales

Battle lines are being drawn on both coasts as small mom-and-pop stores are trying to push state governments out of the liquor business.

In Washington state, there are two initiatives on the November ballot, one of which will kill Prohibition-era regulations.

“Both initiatives would make it more convenient to buy alcohol, and I think that’s why consumers are so interested. They move in from California and other states, and they’re going, ‘Why can’t I buy a bottle of liquor after 8 p.m.?’” Jan Gee, president and chief executive of the Washington Food Industry Association, which represents independent, family-owned grocers, told the Seattle Times.

The complete story from the West Coast begins HERE.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, retailers are taking a more cautious approach to the idea of the state privatizing its state-run liquor stores. The idea is that selling the stores would give the state a large cash infusion to fund road construction. But the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association and the Virginia Retail Federation wrote to Governor Bob McDonnell, saying that it was time to stop discussing concepts and to release a formal plan.

The groups are concerned that out-of-state chain stores would gain an unfair monopoly over smaller, family owned stores.

That story, from the National Association of Convenience Stores, is accessible HERE.