Archive for Saturday, January 12, 2013

Letter: Liquor laws

January 12, 2013


To the editor:

I am writing in response to “Group seeks broader liquor sales” in the Jan. 5 Journal World, referring to legislation which would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer, wine and spirits.

“Uncork Kansas,” which claims to be working in the interest of consumers and for free enterprise, actually is working to further the interests of chain stores such as HyVee, Walmart, Dillons and others, most of whom are taxed out of state.

The vice president of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which supports a change in the law, claims in the article that the existing law is “protecting an illegal monopoly.” A monopoly? Wikipedia states, “A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.” How can over 750 independent retailers in direct competition with one another in the state of Kansas be a monopoly? Illegal? The 10th and 21st amendments of the U.S. Constitution provide for the states’ regulation of alcoholic liquor, and numerous court decisions uphold Kansas’ and other states’ regulatory systems — so what is illegal here?

If licensing rules change, accountability will be diluted for the corporate licensee — creating an incredible disadvantage for any individual in the business. Making this change will be disastrous for most liquor stores. Many stores will close, and employees will lose their jobs.

Yes, businesses do fail. But it isn’t often that an established business fails because the state changes the rules under which the business was established, thereby handing it to someone else.


Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

"But it isn’t often that an established business fails because the state changes the rules"

K2 comes to mind. Opium dens in China come to mind. Bordellos in the American West come to mind. If I keep thinking I might be able to come up with some more.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

But, I don't like the easy accessibility of liquor in a grocery store, where it is much more subject to an impulse purchase. It seemed very strange to me to see big huge displays of liquor in grocery stores in California while I lived there, and it was so very easy to pick up a bottle when I hadn't really been intending to.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you there, Ron, don't forget shoppers wearing swim suits and roller skating around the store.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 5 months ago

subject to an impulse buy because it's in a grocery store? Give me a break. Is it ANY different having a liquor store RIGHT next door to Hy-Vee? If you want to ban it, ban it. Otherwise, if perfectly legal, restrictions on its location of sale should be removed. Free the free market.

Steve Miller 5 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Plenty of alcohol gets sold the way things are = it's not broke = there is nothing to fix.

Always remember our groups of Chamber of Commerce organizations became political action committees aka PAC's around 1980. Which means "commerce" is no longer their focal point.

They are more about misinformation and tax dollar moochers. Yes we see it locally as well. How can taxpayers be further swindled out of what's left of their expendable income?

I say leave our liquor sales the way they are. In fact Hy-Vee does operate a liquor store in Prairie Village that is about 3 blocks from the store.

The state and US Chamber of Commerce are right wing political action committees that are used to funnel money to their favorite politicians and against affordable medical insurance. They do not necessarily work for the good of USA workers or small business in spite of their rhetoric.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 5 months ago

In other letters we are dealing with gun laws and how to protect our children and now we want to sell liquor in grocery stores? This is truly an oxymoron. We want to limit guns that kill far fewer than alcohol and extend the sales of the latter? How foolish are we?

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

If a retailer can get the appropriate license, they should be allowed to sell liquor. I can see why the liquor stores will hate losing their government-enforced advantage, but if the government is propping you up then your failure is already overdue.

If you have problems with alcohol, check yourself into the betty ford clinic.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

All an existing retailer needs to do is open a store in a separate building next door, nearby,down the street or whatever. Obtain the license and go for it.

As in any other market there are only so many dollars available which must also be considered.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 5 months ago

So we should change the laws to protect you from seeing creepy people?

And as far as gas is concerned, there are plenty of grocery stores with liquor stores within walking distance. The exercise will do you good.

Shane Powers 5 years, 5 months ago

My biggest frustration when liquor shopping in MO is selection. In true big box fashion, stores like Hyvee and Wal Mart mostly sell Busch, Budweiser, Miller, et al. It can be difficult to find craft beers. In essence, this law turns the liquor store into a specialty store, and they won't all survive. If we're going to change liquor laws, how's about lettin a guy get somethin to drink after 8 on a Sunday!?

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

"I think the WalMart and Dillons have enough money, let's keep some small town families employed."

Who do you think works at walmart and dillons?

parrothead8 5 years, 5 months ago

The people who used to work at the businesses that closed down when Walmart opened.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 5 months ago

EXACTLY! And those businesses used to actually provide a living for the owners, unlike Wal Mart wages.

funkdog1 5 years, 5 months ago

We shop at HyVee on 6th Street. Alvin's liquor is conveniently located right next door. If this goes through, we will continue to shop at Alvin's for our wine, beer and spirits. As another poster pointed out, HyVee will just be selling high volume swill anyway.

Jon Jambor 5 years, 5 months ago

There are two liquor wholesalers licensed in Kansas: Standard, and Glazers Then there are 3 little ones, Sounds like a monopoly to me.

mae 5 years, 5 months ago

Missouri is 24/7 and anywhere. Sure it will kill out "mom and pop", but they will survive losing their stores. Get rid of liquor stores on every corner and tuck them into what businesses already exist. Less advertising sounds better to me than an aisle or two in a store. Walmart doesn't put up neon in every window and take up little corner intersections that probably would be gas station wars.

Right now in most of the state there is a liq store next to a pawn/gun shop next to a smoke/pop shop. What is so wrong about selling mixers and smokes in the same store? They aren't guns and chainsaws.

kansas really is a laughingstock of the other states.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 5 months ago

You think the liquor laws here are a laughingstock? I suggest you visit Utah. Your sides will ache.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 5 months ago

I see many in here that out of one side of their mouths bash walmart and the other big businesses because they run mom and pops out, but out of the other side, when it benefits them due to convience, they side with walmart.

If you want another tax increase, then do what you can to do away with 3.2 beer. Low alcohol beer collects sales tax which goes back to the communities it was collected in. Higher strenght beer is subject to liquor tax which goes directly to the state. Do any of you really think that Walmart will hire the displaced employees they took their jobs from? Do you think that the profits made in Kansas won't be shipped to Bentonville Arkansas, and then again have to be made up by the tax payers in Kansas?

You domestic abuse folks might consider a drunken old man having access to unsecured booze at 2am at Dillions stealing a jug and going home and beating his spouse (Again), or that recovering alcholoic passing by their favorite flavor, that stack of Jack Daniels and falling off the wagon due to availability. Do yo want some drunk puking on your child in the checkout stand at Hy Vee?

Be careful for what you ask for.

mae 5 years, 5 months ago

So walmart won't hire people who previously worked at a retailer? Experts in their field of selling liquor? Profits go to the owners whoever or wherever they are no matter what. What difference does it make if it's here or Arkansas? The owners likely shop at walmart also. This has nothing to do with taxes, they will be arranged again if this goes through, you should know that.

What are you doing at 2am with your child at hyvee or dillons? The spousal thing is just ridiculous, If you were beaten and now are bitter, why didn't you report it?

JackMcKee 5 years, 5 months ago

"“Uncork Kansas,” which claims to be working in the interest of consumers and for free enterprise, actually is working to further the interests of chain stores such as HyVee, Walmart, Dillons and others, most of whom are taxed out of state."

Mr. Waters is confused. These stores pay sales taxes and property taxes, just like your Ma and Pa liquor store. Also, just like those liquor stores, they pay the same amount in Kansas income tax.

It's a silly law that's overdue for change. Good liquor stores will weather this change without issue, just like in Missouri.

juma 5 years, 5 months ago

I posted this on the first article about this issue and I will post this again. No one has the knowledge to post comments before reading the entire ABC Kansas Liquor Laws Handbook. Uncork Kansas is being untruthful about the whole process of liquor sales in Kansas. Yes, of course, the big box stores want to maximize retail floor space; who doesn't. The sale of alcohol in Kansas has many regulations (all states have regulations for alcohol) and any changes must be done in the context of all the laws.

Sandrat1 5 years, 5 months ago

Uncork Kansas is not only about big box stores. When the coalition was originally created 3 or 4 years ago, it was originally a group of independent grocery and c-store owners. In fact, it specifically excluded big box stores from the legislation it proposed at the time because it thought that the threat of big boxes selling liquor would kill the proposal. Once in committee, the legislators asked why, if Uncork was asking for a level playing field between liquor stores and small grocery and C-stores, how was excluding big merchants fair in the process? Good point, Uncork said, and decided that big retailers should be included.

Not all liquor stores will close if this would pass. Liquor stores and grocery stores co-exist quite nicely in other states. Will some close? Sure. Small stores in poor locations may close, owners looking for a chance to sell may close, poorly managed stores may close. But many are well run and in good locations and will have a chance to sell other things beyond liquor if they would choose to expand their business.

Many, many grocery stores and C-stores in the state are independently owned, employ thousands upon thousands of people, and they are threatened with new competition every single day. You can buy grocery items on every street corner. There is nothing in any law that protects them from new competition. They have to adapt and change and find a way to survive. And let's not forget that the independent grocer's life savings is tied up in their stores as well. The addition of liquor to their stores may be the difference between life and death for these stores. You folks in Lawrence have no shortage of grocery stores, but ask the people in DeSoto and many other communities in Kansas what it's like to not have a grocery store.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Grocery and convenience store sales would hit the liquor store owners for beer, however they don't have a clue about what they would be putting on the shelf.

I can already hear the conversation.

"I'm having a dinner for ten and need a wine which would compliment a pork roast, what would you recommend?"

"Uhhhhhhhhhh, Boone's Farm Country Kwencher? Don't have a clue dude I just work here."

KS 5 years, 5 months ago

Florida and the wet counties of Texas allow both beer and wine in grocery stores, but the hard stuff stays in the liquor stores. Seems to work.

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