Sunday, February 8, 2009

What if wine is allowed into New York Supermarkets?

A fellow Women for WineSense member recently updated her Facebook status to "is glad she does not own a liquor store in New York State."  She directed you to to sign a petition to oppose the legalization of wine in grocery stores.   

Last Store on Main Street, a group of liquor and wine retailers, argue that jobs will be lost because liquor stores will be forced to close and that teenagers will have more access to alcohol.  

New York's industry is made up of two types of alcohol retailer - the liquor store and the wine shop (though they are all classified as liquor stores by the SLA).  A lot of these used the strategy of opening up near a supermarket, so as to create a symbiotic business relationship.  At this point, they can 
a. canibalize themselves - the supermarket can pick up wine to compete with the liquor store 
b. continue the symbiosis - The two stores can balance their product offerings to compliment eachother.   

Alternatively, there are wine shops, who carry wines from smaller producers that don't get representation in large supermarkets because they do not produce enough to supply the Costcos and Trader Joe's sized markets.  These, and the ones that are not near supermarkets, but instead have a small grocer close by.  The inherent symbiosis is that large supermarkets don't want to deal with small production wines, just as smaller grocers won't choose to tie up more money in inventory and overcoming a learning curve.  

OK, I admit it,  I relish the thought of  wine shops selling food!  The kinds of people who own wine shops can put the same attention into fine cheeses, charcurerie, chocolates preserves as we do into selecting fine wines from small producers.  That means more business for small, local cheese makers, farmers and artisan chefs and small wine companies.  We'll probably leave the produce, milk and eggs in the grocery's hands - why would we want to get into that? 

My local grocer, Charmar Superette, boasts an impressive selection of beers, fresh bread every day and a pretty decent deli case.  It's great having a market like that in the neighborhood complimented by a wine shop that has possibly a few more expensive artisan cheeses and boutique chocolates.  

And as for teenagers having more access to wine through supermarkets, thereby increasing the posibility of teen drunk driving?  Like Murray asked Bret "What's your reasoning?"  The law is clear: we card anyone who looks younger than 21.  

All I'm saying is, this could actually be a good thing for all retailers, distributors large and small, and most importantly, customers and neighborhoods.  

Where do you stand? Take my poll!  I will share this post and the results of the poll with selected elected officials.  They should know what the people think.  


1 comment:

  1. Interesting! You learn something new everyday! Personally, I don't think it could hurt and I think it could broaden the liquor stores core consumers especially if the market it right.