There are just three months left and liquor stores and convenience stores are working hard to get prepared for changes in state liquor laws.
“Scramble mode,” said Chad Acklin, the owner of Grand Vin in Utica Square. “October will be here before we know it.”
Acklin says by the end of September they will have refrigerators wrapped around the first half of his store.
“As you can see, we have very tight aisle space and I am very conscientious of making sure, even though we are a small store, that customers have room to shop,” he said.
Under the new laws, strong beer and wine can be sold in grocery and convenience stores and liquor stores can serve cold beer and items not related to alcohol.
When it comes to your favorite QuikTrip, you may not notice that much of a difference. They’re already refrigerating beers, but you might see some end cap displays for wine.
“That’s what you will see, but I have no idea where we will be in three to five years,” stated Mike Thornbrugh with QuikTrip.
He calls the former laws foolish and it was time for a change.
However, there are only three months before the new laws go into effect and shops like the Grand Vin will need to make changes to stay relevant in the market.
“We will have something in place to accommodate our customer base much before that because October, November, December is rather busy in Utica Square,” said Acklin.
That is going to take a pretty extensive renovation for this small space and he isn’t sure exactly how this will impact his customers.
“Yet to be determined,” he said, “but I’m not willing, as a retailer, to take the chance of losing one customer because they want cold beer.”
Some liquor stores simply built brand new facilities to manage the changes, but many owners say they are very busy looking for extra space and pricing refrigeration systems.