25 March 2009

NYT on Wine in Supermarkets

Eric Asimov has written about the governor's plan to permit wine sales in New York State grocery stores. Opponents to the measure includes liquor stores of course, but also both the Teamsters (who have a stake in distribution) and Baptist ministers. With supporters like that....

But Asimov makes a good point:

Nobody supporting the bill would begrudge some concessions to wine and liquor stores, which right now are not permitted to sell cheeses, bread and other foods that would naturally pair with wine. They can’t even sell beer, which is sold in groceries, delis and convenience stores. If groceries are permitted to sell wine, perhaps wine shops ought to be able to sell cheese and beer.
A few weeks ago, my local Wegmans was asking people to sign an in-store petition on this measure. I wanted to ask the guy whether they supported allowing liquor stores in New York to sell beer. Perhaps at this point, they would, as they're big enough not to worry about Joe's Liquors poaching their six-pack sales . Nonetheless, it's important to recall that no one's motives are pure. Liquor stores have doubt been harmed by their inability to sell beer. I don't begrudge them their complaints now.

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