Grocery Stores Prepare for Hard Liquor Sales
A week from tomorrow there will be a lot more choices for consumers on where to buy liquor in Washington state, as the voter-approved law to privatize liquor sales goes into effect. One store owners tells us about his preparations to sell hard alcohol.
It's been a crazy few months for Wray's Food and Drug owner Chris Brown trying to make room for hard liquor on the shelves.
"I always refer to it as my jigsaw puzzle, start moving the pieces around, making them fit," says Brown.
Starting next Friday Brown and other grocery stores will be able to sell hard liquor, and he's expecting to see more money coming in as a result.
"It's something they couldn't buy from grocery stores before, but they can going forward, it should be an increase in sales," says Brown.
Customers we spoke with say they will enjoy the convenience of buying liquor where they buy food.
"I think it might be more convenient for people if they need last minute, you know for putting a barbeque or something together. last minute run to the store," says customer Faith Seltz.
"Almost every other state I've ever lived in, you can do that, so I'm fine with it," says customer Nancy Nielsen.
The State Liquor Control Board says 29 stores in Yakima County are in the licensing process for liquor sales. In Benton County that number is 40, and in Franklin County, it's 15.
"That just means to me that it's going to be more convenient no matter where you live," says customer Dave Saunders.
The owner of Wray's doesn't yet know if liquor sales will be profitable enough to allow him to hire more employees.
For Chris Brown, selling liquor will continue to be a learning process.
"It's just a new category to us that we're not familiar with and we're learning our way through it much like everybody else," says Brown.
The state liquor stores will be closing over several days next week.