Selling Wine in Grocery Stores can Reverse the Decline of Liquor Stores in New York State


The 2012 Economic Impact of Allowing Shoppers to Purchase Wine in Food Stores analysis clearly shows that in states where food and package stores both sell wine, package stores successfully continue in business and even increase in number.

“We must stay focused on keeping New York’s wine industry competitive and wine in grocery stores enjoys widespread support as a key to achieve this goal,” said State Senator Thomas F. O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), who sponsors the “Wine Industry and Liquor Store Revitalization Act” in the Senate. “We keep missing this opportunity to create thousands of jobs, strengthen agriculture, and generate significant new revenue without raising taxes or borrowing.”

The New York Wine Industry Association, New York State Wine Grape Growers Association, New York Farm Bureau, Business Council of New York State, Food Industry Alliance of New York State and allied businesses are asking the Legislature and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to let wineries continue to lead statewide economic development.

But to do this, New York wines must be conveniently available to adult consumers in retail stores. It is not today with maybe half of the liquor stores in New York offering any New York wine to customers, according to winery owners.

The Economic Impact of Allowing Shoppers to Purchase Wine in Food Stores analysis shows that, nationally, more than 50% of wine is purchased by women who are uncomfortable in conventional package stores. Women tend to buy wine in food stores or not buy it at all. Sales to these customers would, therefore, be in addition to those currently occurring in package stores.

Additionally, if the “Wine Industry and Liquor Store Revitalization Act” was passed by the State Legislature, liquor store owners could own more than one store, add high mark-up cheeses, mixers to go with spirits and other products that liquor stores already sell in the 35 states that allow wine and food to be sold in the same establishment. Liquor stores support this legislation because it adds value to existing liquor licenses.

The proposed legislation has been sponsored in the Senate by Thomas O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), Elizabeth Krueger (D-Manhattan) and in the Assembly by Joseph Morelle (D-Irondequoit).

A national report released by the American Association of Wine Economists in December, shows “a higher share of wine (consumed) correlates with lower traffic fatality rates.”

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