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Wrangling Over Wine Could Lead to Sunday Liquor Sales

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Shoppers may soon be leaving grocery stores with more than just groceries. In a vote Tuesday, lawmakers in Nashville voted 6-5 approving amendments to the wine bill to include wine sales in grocery stores and allowing liquor stores to be open on Sundays.

"I just think one stop shopping is better for a lot of people," said Kroger employee, Joy Bartlett.

For local shoppers it may just be a bottle of wine but for owners of liquor stores even the amended bill could have serious business repercussions. Midtown Liquor in Jackson says wine accounts for at least 40 percent of their sales.

Stephanie Calvert supports wine in grocery stores but has reservations about hurting small businesses.

"If it hurts local businesses then that is a big deal because we really should support local businesses because that's what builds up a community," she said.

Janine Dunlap agreed stating, "I don't think it would be that good because I think small businesses get beaten up enough."

Senator Lowe Finney of Jackson is also against the amended bill. He said Tennesseans own liquor stores so that is who the bill will hurt. Those who also oppose the legislation say nothing positive will come from more alcohol in local communities.

"If you increase the amount of time you have to get it even on Sundays you increase the possibility of people abusing it," Dunlap said.

The amended bill is expected to be voted on next week.