Will you drive to Washington to buy liquor?
VANCOUVER -- Big grocery stores all over the state of Washington are rearranging their shelves to start selling booze for the first time ever.
In November 2011, voters approved Initiative 1183 allowing stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor. Washington sales had been state-controlled before then.
On Monday, Vancouver’s largest Fred Meyer store was in the midst of moving a third of it’s store products around to make room for what they hope to be a big seller.
Grand Central manager Kim Hall said, “We actually were able to expand some areas of grocery to give our customers a little bit more and make more sense for our customers as they shop."
Big box retailers like Costco spent millions of dollars to help pass the bill in order to be able to sell liquor in their stores.
There are questions over whether consumers will save any money. The legislature tagged on a tax to the bill totaling 27% which could make liquor more expensive than currently sold at state-run stores. But most shoppers KGW spoke with said they don’t mind paying a little extra for the convenience of buying booze at the same place they grocery shop.
"I don't think it encourages anyone to drink any more or anything like that, I just think it's time Washington caught up with the way it's supposed to be," said Fred Meyer shopper Ester Wright.
“I don't buy that much, mostly for holidays and that sort of thing. Something tells me the Walmarts, Wincos and Costcos will help keep those prices down," said shopper Cheryl Fritzner.
Some smaller stores will also sell liquor. New Seasons said it will have a small selection mostly of locally distilled spirits.
Liquor sales in grocery stores will begin this coming Friday.