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The effect of strong beer is on local liquor stores



WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) ̵

1; Grocery stores and grocery stores in Kansas can now sell strong beers with up to six percent alcohol, but so far, many Wichita wine merchants see no drop in customers coming in to buy beer.

They affect some say, maybe come later down the road.

"I haven't noticed any difference," said David Binter, owner of Derby Wine and Spirits and Central Market Wine and Spirits.

For many liquor stores in Wichita things may have changed inside the store, but owners of the said business have come in as normal.

"I don't want it to be harmful in any way," says Matt Jabara, owner of JT's Liquor. "As long as we can adapt and grow, it's okay."

With strong beer available at grocery stores and grocery stores, many liquor stores have changed their stores and made renovations to meet the new law.

Alcohol stores are now allowed to sell drinks, snacks and other non-alcholic products as long as the profits do not exceed 20% gross sales. They can also sell tobacco in the store.

"The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," said Jeff Breault, owner of R & J Discount Liquor.

These new sales open the door to even more customers, possibly thriving business for some stores.

"I plan to add many things," said Binter. "I'm very excited about this change of law."

While many shop owners in Wichita said they think their business will be okay, despite other stores now carrying strong beer, they fear for small town Kansas and the smaller mother and pop stores in the state.

Kansas has more than 750 liquor stores, and all are owned by Kansan, as opposed to large name-specific retailers who now carry strong beer.

"It's already price deals in Kansas," said Breault. "Just this little change and we feel it gets harder on the small town of Kansas."

But in general, the wine merchants said they would adapt to the changes needed to keep their customers happy.

"I don't really feel like we will lose our faithful, everyday customers to a grocery store or grocery store just for beer," Jabara said.

In ten years, Alcoholic Beverage Control will give Kansas lawmakers a report containing the effect of strong beer sales on local businesses.

Many of the wine merchants said they foresee the retailers, will continue to fight for more in their stores, eventually asking for wine and spirits.


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