Deal excludes big box stores from selling wine - WKRN News 2

Deal excludes big box stores from selling wine


A plan to allow wine sales in grocery stores in Tennessee could turn into a plan to allow wine sales in just some grocery stores.

Lobbyists for liquor and wine stores are negotiating a deal that could eventually allow wine sales in grocery stores.  But the deal could exclude many big-box stores like Walmart and Target, along with most convenience stores.

In Tennessee, those big box stores make up a significant share of the grocery industry in Middle Tennessee.

In a statement to News 2, Walmart said, "The ability to purchase wine as part of a grocery visit is an added convenience for Tennessee consumers and an option our customers want. As one of the state's leading grocers, we are encouraged by the legislature's commitment to empower consumer choice and welcome efforts to move this issue forward in a fair and equitable manner that does not arbitrarily limit our ability to offer customers the convenience and product assortment they want."

Target added, "At Target, we pride ourselves on being a convenient, one-stop shopping destination.  One way we do this is by providing an extensive mix of products. Target currently sells beer, wine, spirits or a combination in 36 states where locally permitted as an added convenience for our guests.  We are monitoring the situation in Tennessee and have nothing additional to share at this time."

The Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association, which represents 2,500 convenience stores in Tennessee, says the reported proposal that excludes some stores from selling wine would "reduce competition and hurt customers." 

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