COLORADO SPRINGS — One week from today, grocery stores will be able to sell wine in Colorado. The voter-approved decision updated the “Colorado Beer Code” and makes it legal for licensed grocery stores and convenience stores to sell wine.
I spoke with several wine stores in Colorado Springs. Many of them are feeling a little worried that competition has gone up with grocery and convenience stores now able to sell wine.
However, not all stores were worried. Stores like Lots A Liquor, which offer specialty wines, believe they will lose some customers, but not all. I spoke with Glen Washburn, a business owner that has worked in the wine industry for 40 years. He thinks what they offer at Lots A Liquor will be sure to keep loyal customers visiting their stores.
“Well, we have been counting on the grocery stores getting wine for years and we knew that it would eventually get here, so what we do is we bring in special wines that we know are really quality and the prices are right. Whereas the grocery stores, they’ll carry the top 100 SKUs and that is fine,” said Washburn.
“We know that they’re going to buy wines. It’s easy to shop whenever they go to the grocery store. We know they are going to buy those wines, but again, I don’t think we are going to lose too much to them because we have such good customers, and they are very loyal to our store.”
Still, Glen says adding competition to the mix is always hard for small businesses, but he believes grocery stores and small shops can coexist. That is why he recommends other wine stores take the time to get to know the customer, or to offer something that sets them apart from the competition.
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