Tennessee supermarkets to sell wine on Sundays

Supermarkets in Tennessee will be able to sell wine on a Sunday for the first time this weekend, following a move to make liquor laws more consistent and less confusing for consumers.

The state flag of Tennessee

Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law in April, with liquor stores across the state able to sell wine on Sunday’s from 10am- 11pm immediately, although the law enabling supermarkets to follow suit did not come into effect until 1 January.

Grocery stores will also be able to sell booze on many public holidays, including Labor Day, 4th of July and New Year’s Day, although not on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day or Easter.

The move is the latest in package of measures to liberalise liquor laws in the state over the last few years to make the laws less confusing. In 2014 for example, grocery stores were permitted to sell wine, and retail liquor stores could stock beer, mixers and food previously not permitted. This was broadened in 2017, along with measures allowing brewers to make high-alcohol beer for sale.

Speaking when the law was passed in April, former Republican Representative Gerald McCormick, who sponsored the bill, said it gave greater choice to the consumer.

“The purpose again in bringing this bill is to give consumers who are our constituents and businesses the ability to make their own decisions regarding the purchase and sale of these products instead of the current system that has the government telling them what they can do and what they can’t do,” he is reported to have said.

However as reported in some media outlets, not all are in favour of the bill, with some liquor store owners fearing that it will hit their biggest day of shopping.

Talking to Tennessee news site WKRN.com the General Manager of University Liquors, Sterchi Morton, Jr, is quoted as saying the new move could hurt “in the long run”, as Sunday is currently one of the busiest, if not the busiest, shopping days of the week for liquor stores.

“Even if you’re not going to the grocery store just for wine, if you’re there and you’re getting your groceries, you’ll go ahead and get your wine,” he told WKRN.

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