Apparently Governor Paterson’s plan to allow supermarkets to sell wine is back on the table. The deal would allow supermarkets to sell wine and liquor stores to sell snack foods. Not surprisingly, wine retailers are strongly against this.
Liquor store owners are worried that if we could buy wine at supermarkets, we would stop shopping in their stores. I think the liquor store owners need to rethink their current strategy of complaining and look at ways that this deal could benefit them. We currently have the ability to buy beer in the supermarket and occasionally, I do. However, we still have beer distributors and if I want to choose from a more varied selection of beers, I’ll go there for my shopping.
Liquor stores can thrive with a similar strategy of offering a much more varied selection of wines than a supermarket, which will likely stock top sellers. Also, wine retailers have the expertise that a supermarket will never be able to match. Can you imagine walking into Price Chopper and asking an employee who is stalking the wine shelves to suggest a wine that will compliment a particular cheese? Wine shops will also be able to sell gourmet cheeses that will open a whole new revenue stream.
As a wine drinker, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this debate and will keep you posted.