Retailers split on bill to allow beer and wine in grocery stores

For the second year in a row, bills are introduced in Annapolis to allow the sale of beer and wine in retail grocery stores. There was a hearing Friday in Annapolis to see where everyone stands on the issue. It’s no secret that grocery stores all over the state are for the legislation because it would help them with razor-thin profit margins, on the other side, however, are mom-and-boy liquor stores. pop who say the move would almost kill the majority of them. is an old law in Maryland, which some people and an entire industry believe needs to be changed, making beer and wine sales available in retail grocery stores. “It’s a terrible idea,” said JoAnn Hyatt, owner and chief executive of Wells Liquors. “I believe there will be a lot of stores closed because of this.” “Do we really want to hurt all these companies that I pay taxes for, that have employed people for so many years? Do we really want to do that?” Hyatt said. The hearing in Annapolis took place regarding Senate Bill 603, which if approved would eventually allow sales and a similar Bill, 608, which would only allow sales within the city. PDF: Senate Bill 603 (read here) “We think there’s growing support, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” said Sarah Price, legislative associate and member of Maryland Retailers Association. The MRA launched a campaign in support of the legislation. The association says it will give shoppers more choice, create hundreds of jobs and help grocery store bottom lines. little helps with operating costs,” Price said. As for the suffering of mom-and-pop stores, Price said that’s just not true.” We understand where they’re coming from, but frankly, we don’t think this would cause the death of all mom and pop stores,” she said. Hyatt disagrees. “It’s old law in Maryland, but sometimes old laws aren’t necessarily bad laws for the state. You have to leave something out,” she said. Senate Bill 603 is expected to pass a second reader soon. If the bill is finally adopted, it will be submitted to the next ballot in the form of a referendum to let the voters decide. sell beer and wine to people who are at least 21 years old. We believe this amendment should be voted on this fall and our customers and neighbors should have a say in whether it passes. “We support this legislation, allowing grocery stores in Maryland to sell beer and wine to customers. We are always looking for ways to make the shopping experience and meal planning easier and more enjoyable for our customers, and that includes buying wine and beer to go with the food they buy.We’ve had great success in other states where we’re able to sell beer and wine in our stores.

For the second year in a row, bills are introduced in Annapolis to allow the sale of beer and wine in retail grocery stores.

There was a hearing Friday in Annapolis to see where everyone stands on the issue.

It’s no secret that grocery stores across the state support the legislation because it would help them achieve razor-thin profit margins. On the other side, however, are the family liquor stores who say the move will kill the majority of them.

This is an old law in Maryland, which some people and an entire industry believe needs to be changed, making beer and wine sales available in retail grocery stores.

“It’s a really bad idea,” Wells Liquors owner and CEO JoAnn Hyatt said. “There will be a lot of stores closed because of this, I believe.”

Hyatt said allowing grocery stores to sell beer and wine would bankrupt many small liquor stores, including many nearby grocery stores to drive through traffic.

“Do we really want to hurt all these companies that I pay taxes for, that have employed people for so many years? Do we really want to do that?” said Hyatt.

The hearing in Annapolis took place regarding Senate Bill 603, which if approved would eventually allow sales and a similar Bill, 608, which would only allow sales within the city.

| PDF: Senate Bill 603 (Read here)

“We think there’s growing support, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” said Sarah Price, legislative associate and member of the Maryland Retailers Association.

The MRA launched a campaign in support of the legislation. The association says it will give shoppers more choice, create hundreds of jobs and help grocery store bottom lines.

“Grocery stores operate with some of the lowest profit margins in the retail industry, around 1% to 3% profit margin, so every little bit contributes to operating costs,” Price said.

As for the suffering of mom-and-pop stores, Price said that just isn’t true.

“We understand where they’re coming from but frankly we don’t think this would kill all mom and pop stores,” she said.

Hyatt disagrees.

“It’s an old law in Maryland, but sometimes old laws aren’t necessarily bad laws for the state. Something has to be left out,” she said.

Senate Bill 603 is expected to pass a second reader soon. If the bill is finally passed, it will be put to the next ballot as a referendum to let voters decide.

Giant Food sent a statement to 11 News, saying, “Giant Food fully supports allowing Maryland voters to decide whether grocery stores should be able to sell beer and wine to people 21 years of age or older. We believe this amendment should be on the ballot this fall and that our customers and neighbors should have a say in whether it passes.”

Wegmans sent a statement to 11 News, saying, “We support this legislation, allowing grocery stores in Maryland to sell beer and wine to customers. We are always looking for ways to make the shopping experience and planning of easier and more enjoyable meals for our customers, and this includes purchasing wine and beer to accompany the food they purchase.We have had great success in other states where we are able to sell beer and wine in our stores.

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