Retailers Awaiting The Day Liquor Law Changes Take Effect

Tuesday, September 11th 2018, 10:28 pm
By: Ashley Izbicki

It’s been nearly two years since voters passed sweeping changes to our state’s liquor laws and retailers are getting ready for October 1st.

One of the biggest changes coming is that customers can buy stronger beer and wine at grocery stores.

7/17/2018 Related Story:  Liquor, Convenience Stores Working To Prepare For Liquor Laws To Take Effect

The owner of Reasor’s says it’s been a monumental task and now customers are starting to notice the changes.

“It looks like a little bit of a garage sale here,” said Jeff Reasor.  “You’re seeing that at all of the stores.”

Signs are posted – “Craft beer is coming soon!” – and the 3.2 beer is selling out.

“What you see on the shelf is it,” said Reasor.  “That’s not an enticement to go buy, but really, what it is, they stopped shipping the 3.2 beer.”

Reasor says distributors didn’t want retailers to have this beer still in stock when customers will want the stronger beer they’ll find in that aisle.

Just across from the cold beer, the chips will be cleared out to make room for warm beer, and the folders, notebooks, and pens will be replaced with wine.  Also, the white shelves will be replaced with dark wood.

“It’ll be enough to cover almost 400 lineal feet,” said Reasor.

The question is, where will all of that wine go until cashiers can sell it?

“We may actually have product in here and we may have to lock the doors or put signs,” said Reasor.  “Everything we get in will not scan at the register until October 1st.

He says that date is just the beginning – after that, customers call the shots based on what they put into their shopping carts.

“We’ve spent all of our time trying to analyze what sells at each one of our stores, and all 18 stores will have a different mix of product,” said Reasor.  “Every time you come into the store, you vote by what you buy.  If there aren’t enough votes, an item goes away.  If there are enough votes, the item stays.”

Five of the 18 locations will also have wine stewards.