Imagine after a long day at work, you’re strolling down the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store picking up your usuals - a quick dinner for the family, some snacks to enjoy on the couch later, and maybe a pack or two of toilet paper - when you realize you need to grab some wine for an upcoming special occasion. 

But instead of having to drive to the nearest liquor store, you can just pop over to another aisle and grab a bottle off the supermarket shelf. 

That scenario is getting close to reality here in New York, and according to a new poll, Empire State shoppers are all about it. 

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3 Out Of 4 New Yorkers Want Wine Sold In Grocery Stores

A recent poll conducted by Siena College revealed that a whopping 75% of New York State voters are in favor of grocery stores selling wine. The enthusiasm for grabbing a bottle in local supermarkets spans across party lines and regions, with at least two-thirds of voters from every political affiliation and geographic area saying “Cheers!” to the idea.

This past May, a new bill was introduced to the New York State Senate proposing to expand the purchase of wine to grocery stores and offering incentives to supermarkets who choose to take part. It should be noted that this doesn’t include “big box” stores like Walmart and Target, but rather stores where 65% of sales are food related. It also excludes convenience stores and gas stations, and drug stores by requiring locations selling wine be a minimum of 5,000 square feet.

The Pros Of Selling Wine At The Supermarket

There’s no denying that being able to pick up a bottle of wine with your chicken breasts and cheerios would be super convenient for busy New York State shoppers. 

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Considering the busy, non-stop lifestyle of so many New Yorkers (especially with the hustle and bustle of the holidays), it’s no wonder so many are embracing the idea. Selling wine in grocery stores could be a game-changer for the average customer looking to streamline their shopping trips.

And considering neighboring states like Massachusetts and Vermont allow the sale of wine in their supermarkets, it only makes sense that New York State eventually comes around on the idea. 

But before we start raising our glasses to make wine available to buy in New York State grocery stores, we need to consider the potential massive downside. 

What About Local Liquor Stores In New York State?

Small business owners across the Empire State aren’t fans of this new bill, and rightfully so. 

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Giving supermarkets access to sell wine in their stores could eliminate the need for shoppers to spend money at their local liquor store, potentially causing them to take a financial hit. 

Steve Malito, a lobbyist for Metro PSA, spoke out against the legislation, saying

“If your local Whole Foods store, owned by Amazon, gets the right to sell wine and liquor, they are likely to not add a single job. The same person who stocks canned vegetables in aisle 36  is going to be stocking the shelves in the wine and liquor section too, while local liquor stores, which are central to communities and employ an average of 10 people per store, are going to face doomsday.” 

Even though the prospect of wine lining grocery store shelves is exciting to most New York State residents, the overall impact to our local economy remains to be seen.

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