Association predicts 3,000 jobs if wine allowed in grocery stores

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 12:20pm

The state’s grocers said Wednesday Tennessee could gain as many as 3,000 new jobs by changing the law to allow wine sales in their stores.

According to their economic impact study, the state’s wine market will grow by 25-55 percent if the wine-in-groceries law passes, creating between 1,597 and 3,513 jobs and generating from $19 million to $38 million in taxes and license fees for local and state governments.

“We are preventing Tennesseans from getting much-needed jobs if we don’t pass this bill,” said Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “The substantial revenue generated by this legislation doesn’t require a tax increase or an incentive to spur private investment.”

The association said the Stonebridge Research Group conducted the analysis.

Liquor stores could see a reduction in sales volume of between 5 percent and 28 percent in communities most likely to buy wine and between 104 and 597 liquor store jobs would be vulnerable, according to the report.

For the fifth straight year this session, legislators will consider whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores. A 2009 MTSU poll found that 62 percent of Tennesseans favored wine sales in food stores. But liquor retailers and wholesalers have opposed the bill, contending that it would hurt their business and increase access to alcohol by minors.

27 Comments on this post:

By: slacker on 2/2/11 at 12:21

Our newly elected legislators, will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they listen to their constituents, not lobbyists this session.

By: PromosFriend on 2/2/11 at 1:31

Slacker is right. As other states have demonstrated, having wine sales in grocery stores inclreases tax revenues and enhances employment without the doomsday predictions coming to pass by those opposed to responsible enjoyment of wines and other alcoholic beverages. This odd pairing of morality dictating churches and the liquor store lobby is only about one of two things - either controlling people's lifestyles or stifling competition to fatten profits for a few businesses (instead of allowing many businesses to compete for profits).
JustOnePerson'sOpinion

By: NewYorker1 on 2/2/11 at 1:51

We can purchase beer in grocery stores, why not wine?

By: NewYorker1 on 2/2/11 at 1:53

Wouldn't wine require the same purchasing requirements as beer when dealing with minors?

By: dargent7 on 2/2/11 at 3:43

This argument is on the level of a 6th grade civics class.
No state I've lived in, where people walk upright, that don't allow wine sales in grocery stores, convience stores, gas stations, etc.
All all allow sales on Sunday.
Curtail the sales to between 7:00am and 11:00pm. Whatever.
Git 'er done.

By: global_citizen on 2/2/11 at 4:29

Two points:

1) In a free country, consumers should be able to decide where they would like to purchase legal products.

2) If liquor retailers are concerned about losing business, they are tacitly admitting they currently have legislative favors to prop up their profits.

By: dangerlover on 2/2/11 at 5:42

Does anyone have any insight as to why liquor sales are curtailed on Sundays? Ostensibly, it's because the religious element has gotten their way thus far, and wishes to make sure people are in church instead of drinking, but is there a supposed "real" reason?

If this bill is shot down again, I'm going to drive around the Capital honking my horn.

By: bigj024 on 2/2/11 at 5:53

Putting wine in grocery stores does not make people turn 21 any faster. The same people will be buying wine, so where does this 25-55 percent growth come from? If it pass all it will do is hurt local small business owners and put more money into the pockets of big box corporations. Ohio based Kroger, Florida based Publix, and Arkansas based Wal-Mart to name a few.

By: richgoose on 2/2/11 at 6:12

If 3000 jobs are created by this I would be surprised. However if by chance there is some validity in this I would bet that 2,975 of these jobs pay less than $11.00 per hour.

By: PromosFriend on 2/2/11 at 6:27

"richgoose" You could be right, but then another way to look at it is that 2,975 new jobs at $11/hr. is better than 0 jobs at $0/hr.
JustOnePerson'sOpinion

By: dangerlover on 2/2/11 at 8:24

Bigj024, I think the argument is based on the idea that making wine easier to purchase would increase sales. I know that I would buy wine more often, if only for cooking purposes, if it were in the grocery store.

Basic economic principles dictate that an increase in commerce (of any type) provides more revenue for both retailers and government, which allows for further economic growth. Additionally, Tennessee produced wine would see a massive increase in sales...even though it's not very good.

If you think about it, instead of subscribing to the status quo, there is no reason not to do it.

By: richgoose on 2/3/11 at 3:00

PROMOSFRIEND..........I can certainly see your logic. With the $11.00 an hour or less they could still qualify for welfare and food stamps. Probably even free lunches and even free breakfast at the public schools their children will attend.

By: ncpreader on 2/3/11 at 9:10

This bill is a total investment by the grocery stores to make more money. They are not fighting for your freedom! Get real. The wine wholesalers are not behind this, because it means a TON of more work for them and no more money. People are not going to buy more wine because there would be wine in the grocery. There is beer in grocery stores and I don't drink MORE beer. There are Krispy Kreme donuts in grocery stores and I don't buy more Krispy Kremes. Study. Get educated on this.
Follow the money. The money to promote this is coming NOT from Free American People like us. Ask yourself, "Did I vote in my representative in this last election on the issue of putting wine in grocery stores?" This is a BS issue and the groceries are trying to play the freedom card to get we the people stirred up.
I know both sides of this issue. The wine wholesalers do not want to deal with grocery store bullying of price fixing and demands for merchandising people to stock their displays. It also means 100's of more delivery stops and much more merchandising expenses for the wholesalers who already have a system in place to deliver their product. Don't look for this to pass. This system works just fine. We have bigger fish to fry. Any jobs created will mean jobs lost on the other end. The numbers are random and just BS.

By: shey69 on 2/3/11 at 9:41

I am surprised by the opposition in these comments. I have been in TN for 15+ years and have never understood why I can't buy wine in the grocery store. I have assumed it was a religious issue, although I am from SC (a very religiously motivated state) and I can buy wine at the grocery when I visit family there. Whenever I travel, I am so pleased to see the wine at the grocery(and sometimes liquor)- I don't have to hunt down a liquor store in a strange town. Every woman I know wants the wine at the grocery.

ncpreader- I rarely drink beer, but when I do it's because it looked good in the grocery store. I don't make trips to Krispy Kreme, but I do impulse buy them (too often) at the grocery store. Don't assume your perspective fits everyone else. You may be right about the money, but someone always makes money and someone always loses. If the people want it, the people should get it. Let's Vote on it!

By: RedWhiteWine56 on 2/3/11 at 11:37

ncpreader-Yes, the wine distributers want more $$$ and they will get it.

My goals are selfish. It is much more convenient to pic up a box or bottle of wine at the grocery store-Period. No extra trips, no extra gas, no extra hassle!!!

Now let`s throw the liquor stores a bone and allow Sunday package sales. You can get hammered at Applebys on Sunday then get crawl behind the wheel of your car.

Once again, convenience. Nobody is going to drink more-Read the facts from the states that have overturned these old stupid blue laws.

By: RedWhiteWine56 on 2/3/11 at 11:39

PS
Please go to http://www.redwhiteandfood.com and show your support.

By: dangerlover on 2/3/11 at 11:47

ncpreader, your arguments make absolutely no sense. Why would a grocer want to be involved in price fixing? So the things they buy cost more? Are you serious? Who cares what the wine wholesalers want anyways?

I'm convinced that anybody opposing this bill is a liquor store owner, religious nut, or retarded. Which one are you?

By: phirebird on 2/3/11 at 12:19

Between $19 million and $38 million in additional taxes and fees? That's quite a spread. How much extra do we have to drink to generate that much in revenue? And as for grocery stores hiring more people to handle the wine... they don't hire enough people to handle the groceries and the checkouts now. What makes you think they would hire more people to handle the wine? They'll just make the same people do more jobs. npcreader is right. Get real.

By: imdyinhere on 2/4/11 at 6:30

Current law prohibits anyone from owning more than one wine/liquor store in Tennessee.

Current law demands anyone who owns a wine/liquor store in Tennessee must be a Tennessee resident.

Those laws will have to be eliminated in order to sell wine in supermarkets.

Whatever jobs are gained by changing, far more will be lost in the inevitable consolidation as wine/liquor retailers will be forced to sell to deep-pocketed corporations, or be run out of business like Pharmacists were run out by CVS, Rite-Aid and WalGreens.

The alleged addition of jobs is about as false an argument as anyone could make.

By: gdiafante on 2/4/11 at 7:44

"Whatever jobs are gained by changing, far more will be lost in the inevitable consolidation as wine/liquor retailers will be forced to sell to deep-pocketed corporations, or be run out of business like Pharmacists were run out by CVS, Rite-Aid and WalGreens."

They sell wine in the groceries in Iowa and liquor stores survive. What a silly argument. Why are people so afraid of change in the South??

By: global_citizen on 2/4/11 at 7:51

"This bill is a total investment by the grocery stores to make more money. They are not fighting for your freedom!"

Frankly, I don't care what the grocery stores' motivation is. My freedom to purchase wine where I choose comes with it, so it's a symbiotic goal.

"Get real. The wine wholesalers are not behind this, because it means a TON of more work for them and no more money. People are not going to buy more wine because there would be wine in the grocery. There is beer in grocery stores and I don't drink MORE beer."

You're showing a real lack of education in economics. If a product is made more convenient to purchase, sales of that product will go up. If wine is sold in grocery stores, the added convenience will lead to increased sales. Conversely, if beer were no longer allowed to be sold in grocery stores, you would see a significant drop in beer sales.

"There are Krispy Kreme donuts in grocery stores and I don't buy more Krispy Kremes."

What does that tell us other than you don't have a taste for Krispy Kreme donuts?

"Study. Get educated on this. Follow the money. The money to promote this is coming NOT from Free American People like us."

Funny, I think most people are studying the issue and getting educated about why we have this silly law in the first place. And following the money leads right to the liquor lobby and liquor retailers trying to protect their turf (and inflated profits). Come to think of it, you seem to be parroting all the liquor lobby talking points. Makes one wonder.

"It also means 100's of more delivery stops and much more merchandising expenses for the wholesalers who already have a system in place to deliver their product. Don't look for this to pass. This system works just fine. We have bigger fish to fry. Any jobs created will mean jobs lost on the other end. The numbers are random and just BS."

Yep, definitely talking points, every one of them, straight from the liquor lobby. And you want us to think you're just an average consumer citizen "like us". Talk about B.S.

By: imdyinhere on 2/4/11 at 8:18

psssst .... insulting others pretty much shows you've got a losing argument.

By: batkinson on 2/4/11 at 9:41

imdyinhere...the proposed legislation does include the provisions you mentioned. People would be able to own more than one store in Tennessee. And store owners would be able to sell their stores to out-of-state companies -- like liquor wholesalers that are cashing out with Warren Buffet's company. Just thought you would like to know. DISCLAIMER: I work for the Red White and Food campaign.

By: JeffF on 2/4/11 at 12:01

I hate it when anyone is able to use my government as a barrier to entry in their chosen business.

I hated it when Comcast used our state to block competition from ATT.

I hated it when ATT used our government to prevent telecommunications competition form coming in.

I hate it when funeral directors use our state to prevent competition.

I hated it when the gas station owners tried using our government to stop companies from selling cheap gas 8 years ago.

I hate it that our government was used to prevent out-of-state wineries from shipping to Tennesseans because it would hurt the most-favored distributors.

I hate it that these same distributors use our government to prevent any change that would allow the circumnavigation of their tremendous power.

By: shef2 on 2/4/11 at 8:11

I moved here (by choice) 15 years ago, from Los Angeles, where Trader Joe's was the best place to "try out" wines - They had some GREAT French Champagnes for $4.99-!
YAY-! Of course, you could buy wine (& liquor) in any grocery store-! If they wanted to "limit" the "price-wars", they COULD have grocery stores sell wines that were priced under $14.99 - Leaving my beloved Frugal MacDougal's to sell the "better" ones-!
Maybe if this law FINALLY gets done, Trader Joe's can open MORE stores, & not in the always congested Green Hills-!
I am all for it-!

By: joe41 on 2/5/11 at 8:49

I am in favor of wine in grocery stores. But I do not think that it will result in 3,000 more employees. There won't be more wine sold so where would the extra money come from to pay these people. I think that the main advantage would be getting rid of the monopoly on wine sales that exists in Tennessee.
Joe

By: Karen Hunter-Lowery on 2/8/11 at 3:28

If you are interested in buying wine in Tennessee food stores, go to www.redwhiteandfood.com and join the campaign.