Supporters ask for signatures to get wine in grocery stores on ballot

Supporters ask for signatures to get wine in grocery stores on ballot (Image 1)

If you would like to buy wine along with your groceries at the supermarket, supporters want your signature.

On Friday, supporters were in Nashville asking for signatures for a petition that would help get the issue on the November ballot.

While at the same time, liquor stores are making changes to stay competitive.

Wine and spirits stores in Tennessee could only sell alcoholic beverages until earlier this month.

“The beauty of the new law is that we are able to expand our products and add to the convenience of our customers, so that they don’t have to go elsewhere to get accessories, whether it’s a cork screw or a carrying gift bag, or specialty gift wrap,” said Dan Hutchinson, the general manager at the Wine Shoppe in Green Hills.

Hutchinson said the new regulations will help liquor stores stay competitive if the wine in grocery store referendum passes.

Liquor stores can also now sell tobacco products.

Under the new measure, when a person makes an alcohol purchase, they are carded regardless of their age.

Previously, it was up to the employee’s discretion to card a buyer. Now, if the liquor store employee does not ask for identification, regardless how old a person is, they will face the same penalty as if they were selling alcohol to a minor.

An updated number of petition signatures collected in various areas as of Friday for the wine in grocery store movement shows nearly 89,000 people are supportive of the measure.

  • Metropolitan Nashville – 24,493
  • Goodlettsville – 1,896
  • Williamson County – 9,339
  • Shelby County – 16,537
  • Hamilton County – 10,578
  • Knox County – 25,654

Election workers still have to verify the signatures.

Even if the referendum makes it to the November ballot and voters support it, Hutchinson said he is not worried.

“The thing that sets us apart from grocery stores is the level of service we are able to give. We pride ourselves on knowing our customer and their habits and their preferences on what they like to drink. That level of service is not something you’re going to be able to get at a grocery store,” he said.

Click here for complete coverage on wine in grocery stores.

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