This week, a bill was introduced in Albany that would allow supermarkets and grocery stores to stock and sell wine throughout New York State. To opposite effect, the bill would also expand the rights of New York State liquor stores to include multiple locations, direct partnerships with restaurants and bars, and the right to sell a wider variety of items. The bill has already picked up bipartisan support in both New York Assembly and Senate, but is still being met with staunch opposition from New York’s liquor store owners who fear that the passage of such a bill could do irreparable damage to their businesses.
New York legislators discussed the new bill on Monday in a roundtable discussion with both supermarket representatives and liquor store and other business owners. Those representing liquor stores expressed concern that this legal change could be seriously detrimental to their livelihoods. As it stands, New York’s prominent food and drink quirk has created a unique infrastructure that residents and retailers alike have adapted to, where liquor stores have thrived on offering what supermarkets can’t. Even with legislators offering to amend the bill to “phase in” wine in supermarkets to give liquor stores more time to adjust, the businesses remain wary.
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM WDM CONTENT NETWORK
- The World’s First Facebook Wine Store is Now Open
- Towns Call for Lazy Cakes Ban
- Online Grocery Shopping at Amazon Sets a New Standard
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE LATEST EDITION OF FOOD & DRINK DIGITAL
On the other hand, supermarket representatives and legislators in favor of the bill refer to the current infrastructure in New York as a monopoly more than a viable infrastructure, and have claimed that allowing wine sales in supermarkets would boost both state tax revenue and jobs. According to a report in Crain’s New York Business, supermarkets cited studies suggesting that a change in the law would generate $346.7 million in new revenue in the first year alone through franchise and license fees, excise taxes and sales taxes. In addition, according to the Wall Street Journal the business group New Yorkers for Economic Growth and Open Markets estimates that the new law could create many new jobs in the state, with some saying as many as 7,500.
The bill is expected to reach the New York State Assembly and Senate floors for a vote within approximately four weeks, at the end of the legislative session.