Tenn. House passes wine in grocery stores bill - WKRN News 2

Tenn. House passes wine in grocery stores bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Wine is one step closer to being sold in grocery stores.

Lawmakers voted 71-15 to pass the House bill, but the process isn't over just yet.

The Senate, which passed a previous version, is expected to sign on to this newest version. The bill would then go to Governor Haslam's desk. After that voters will decide on the change in cities and towns.

The owner at Colonial Liquors says wine actually makes up 70 percent of his sales, but he hopes the bill continues to move forward

"I've been excited about it for months, hoping that this would pass," Bobby Bubis explained to Nashville's News 2.

While one may think selling wine in grocery stores could hurt sales inside a liquor store, the current bill in place gives owners like Bubis the opportunity to make money in other ways.

"The beer market is over 50 percent of the alcohol sold in the city, wine is about 30 percent, so I see it as an opportunity to tap into a larger market. Along with being able to sell Cokes and snacks and ice and what other items that we are able to sell."

Bubis has already made plans to expand, knocking down walls and moving out the business next door.

"We are even probably going to put in the growlers and do the draft beers and have a full market," said Bubis.

Whitney Jones says wine on shelves will provide a convenience for shoppers

"I'm all for it. It will be not only convenient but also bring you a lot more revenue," she explained.

The wine in grocery stores bill doesn't intimidate Bubis. he adds that his customer service and selection will be hard to beat.

"We've developed quite a case business and you know just people carrying it out for them and helping them pick it and the large selection, they aren't going to be able to compete with me. I don't believe."

Wine could be on store shelves July 1, 2016, but you may start seeing changes inside liquor stores as early as July this year.

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