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Three More Daily Newspapers Call for Authorizing Wine Sales in Grocery Stores

Monday, March 16, 2009 6:02 PM


ALBANY, NY (03/16/2009; 1356)(readMedia)-- Newsday, the New York Post, and the Syracuse Post-Standard in the last three days have joined a growing list of daily newspapers, business weeklies, and public-policy columnists around the state that have urged state legislators to authorize the sale of wine in grocery stores.

In its March 16 editorial, the New York Post discussed how the measure will help New York's wine industry and the state's economy.

"Indeed, demand for New York-produced wine is likely to grow. Then Empire State vintners would need to up production, creating still more jobs - a nice shot in the arm for a neglected homegrown industry," the editorial said.

In an editorial published March 15, Newsday talked about the compelling argument to allow competition for wine sales, which will help consumers.

"Today, we raise a glass to the free market and endorse a proposal to allow the sale of wine in New York grocery stores. The idea would bring convenience to consumers and ultimately expand the state's winemaking industry."

The March 15 Syracuse Post Standard editorial simply stated, "The logic of allowing wine sales in grocery stores is compelling."

Major editorial pages that have supported allowing wine sales in grocery stores include: the Buffalo News; the Syracuse Post-Standard; Newsday; the New York Post; the Schenectady Gazette; the Watertown Daily Times; the Rochester Business Journal; and Crain's New York Business. Columnists who have supported the proposal include: Bill Hammond of the Daily News; Fred LeBrun of the Albany Times Union; and Mitch Frank of Wine Spectator.

New York's consumers support the idea by a two to one margin, citing improvements in consumer choice, convenience, and cost. They also praised the likelihood of more jobs in wine-related industries and more growth opportunities for New York's wineries.

The regulatory change is expected to generate some $160 million in new revenues for schools and hospitals over the next two years without a tax increase. It is also expected to save consumers at least $80 million a year and create a net 2,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. It would also increase, from about 2,500 to about 18,000, the number of New York State outlets selling wine, providing a boost to New York's winemaking industry.

New York is the only major wine producing state that does not allow for the sale of wine in grocery stores. That helps explain New York's diminished leadership in the wine industry in recent years. California and Washington, the number one and two respective wine producing states, have six times as many retail outlets per person than New York.

Thirty-five other states have allowed wine sales in grocery stores - with no signs that liquor stores have been eradicated as a result. In fact, there is evidence that wine sales in grocery stores would even benefit liquor stores. One study showed that states that now permit wine sales in food stores also support a greater number of liquor stores per capita than states that limit wine sales to package stores.

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(Source: iStockAnalyst )

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