Florida Senate Bill aims to bring down wall between liquor and groceries

Posted at 9:24 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-25 01:59:43-04

Soon putting your booze on your grocery list may not necessarily mean making two separate stops.

"It's one of those things that unless you're getting wine, it's 'oh you better go somewhere else," said Jake Dice.

A bill that recently passed the State Senate aims to allow grocery stores like Target or Walmart to start selling hard liquor. 

"I mostly use Target for all of my grocery shopping so to have that as a convenience. It would be  really nice," said Mandy Henrichsen. 

But if you're a liquor store owner in the same shopping plaza as a grocery store, you might be pretty worried. 

"We are a small business, it would really hurt our business I think," said Ting Chi, owner of Forum Liquors in West Palm Beach.

Chi took over Forum Liquors near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard a few months ago. Business is good, but if the bill becomes law, a giant retailer right around the corner will become his biggest competition. 

"I can only buy the 100 cases, but Walmart, Target, they can buy maybe 10,000," added Chi who explained that right now he can lower prices on liquor he gets good deals on for buying in bulk, but his purchasing capacity can never beat Target's. 

"It's big competition for us," added Chi.

Chi says he's hoping to buy more stores, but that may be put on hold if this law passes.

The bill will be voted on by a House committee on March 29. If it becomes law it will be effective July 1.