Is Full-Strength Beer In Grocery Stores Hurting Grand Valley Liquor Stores?
We're a month into the new law allowing "real" beer sold in grocery and convenience stores.
Back home in Missouri not only is full-strength beer sold in grocery and convenience stores but hard liquor too. There, liquor stores and grocery stores appear to co-exist just fine. Of course, the law allowing the sale of both has been in place for decades giving both businesses time to adjust. Hopefully, the same will hold true in Colorado.
I'm confident in saying that local liquor stores are selling less beer these days. On January 1st, Colorado’s old Prohibition-era law only allowing 3.2 beer sold in stores ended. No question it's handy to grab a six-pack while picking up some groceries or filling your car with gas. Liquor stores on the front range report they're seeing a decline in sales, some as much as 10%.
Liquor stores will need to rethink their strategy because grocery stores chains are all in on selling beer. According to a Safeway spokesperson, “Customers have responded really well to the convenience of being able to buy full-strength beer when they grocery shop. We are carrying 150+ Colorado craft varieties as well as domestics and imports. Our goal is to give customers a variety.”
King Soopers/City Market report a similar response saying, “Sales have been great. Our customers are loving their local craft beer and it shows, with over 45% of our sales being craft. We have a great selection of over 45 Colorado breweries represented, as well as 248 different Colorado local brews to choose from...”
I'm all about supporting local liquor stores. Andy's Liquor Mart on 1st is my go-to place and I will continue to buy my beer and vodka there. The fact is it will take a solid game plan and effort for the ma and pa liquor stores to compete in this new world that is real beer sales in stores in Colorado. All this beer talk has got me thirsty. I'm ready for a cold one! How about you?