DENVER (KDVR) — Grocery retailers in Colorado are getting ready to stock their shelves with wine for the first time.
This comes after voters passed Proposition 125, making it legal for vendors to sell wine in grocery stores and convenience stores.
“We’re really excited for Coloradans to be able to pop the champagne and purchase wine in grocery stores,” said Jessica Trowbridge, with King Soopers.
Starting March 1, Coloradans will be able to purchase wine from grocery stores like King Soopers.
“Initially, some stores will look smaller and have smaller sets, but as we go through the process, the sets will expand here, and we’re looking at providing between 1,000-1,500 different wines to our customers,” Trowbridge said.
She said it will give customers a one-stop shop for all their needs.
“We’ve heard for a long time that our customers are looking for that one-stop convenience shop where they can easily pick up a bottle of wine to go with their spaghetti dinner or fish they’re preparing, and now it cuts out one less trip that they have to make,” Trowbridge said.
Wine in grocery stores: The liquor store impact
For liquor store owners like Carolyn Joy, the new concept could have a huge impact on business.
“Potentially, this could have a potentially devastating effect on my business,” Joy said.
Joy Wine and Spirits in Denver has been in Joy’s family for decades.
“I started coming here when I was a kid,” Joy said. “I ended up buying from my dad in the late ’90s.”
She’s built tons of relationships with her customers.
“We know many of our customers by name. People walk down to this store,” Joy said. “We have generations of customers coming in.”
Joy said she now fears she could lose that.
“It’s really important that customers understand even a bottle here and there at a grocery store makes a big difference to a business like mine and all the other independent-owned liquor stores,” Joy said. “Those single sales add up, and they could potentially cost someone their job.”
It’s too early to know what kind of impact this might have on liquor stores, which are still the only place in Colorado to buy hard liquor.
“We will definitely try to pivot in whatever way to accommodate our customers and hope they continue to see the value in having someone that knows them, and I think that in the long run, customers do value that and will continue to support businesses like mine,” Joy said.