Push to sell wine in New York grocery stores

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — For some, it’s the convenience of a one-stop-shop. Grabbing celebratory flowers, balloons, chocolates and wine all in the same location could save shoppers an extra trip. A recent Siena Poll shows the majority of New Yorkers support allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores. New York is one of ten states that does not allow the practice, but new legislation could change that.

Nelson Eusebio with the National Supermarket Association said wine in grocery stores (also known as WIG) should have happened a long time ago, “It’s been a long fight, a struggle with the New York State Liquor Authorities. They allow us to sell beer, so why not wine? And that’s what we’re asking for.” Eusebio said the ban in New York is ironic considering the Finger Lakes and Long Island are the states largest wine making regions, “What a better way to support your local product than to sell wine?”

He also said this would be good for New York economy, creating more jobs at supermarkets and delivery points, but Craig Allen, owner of All Star Wine and Spirits, disagrees, “They’re not gonna add more jobs, nobody adds jobs in the Publix down there, nobody adds jobs for the wine section, the same people that stock – and that’s just common sense. Anybody with common business sense would know that you’re not hiring more people to stock one section of shelving at the grocery store.”

Allen said adding a wine section to the store shelves will cost thousands their jobs and smaller businesses simply can’t compete with billion dollar companies. “Big money talks and corporations talk and it’s just like Amazon did to bookstores you know small businesses are just going by the wayside especially in New York,” he said.

A Cornell University study says that the policy change would cause wine sales at liquor stores to drop 17% to 32%. A state commission also reviewed New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law to see if any legislative changes are necessary — majority of commissioners voted against allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores. Lawmakers only have 10 legislative session days to get the bill passed. We’ll keep you updated, with the latest.

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