Local groceries gear up for July 1 wine sales

Farragut Kroger Marketplace, Ingles, Fresh Market, Publix, Pilot Travel Center and Food Mart and Weigel’s Farm Store locations are among many grocery stores preparing to sell wine July 1.

“This has been among the most requested items in our stores for many years,” Melissa Eads, Kroger spokesperson, said. She said it would draw new customers.

“Obviously customers had told us for many years that they’d like to be able to purchase wine where they shop for groceries and I think this will bring them that convenience that they’ve asked for and that they’ve wanted and we’re looking forward to being able to offer that to them.”

Ron Freeman, chief financial officer at Ingles, said all Ingles locations in Tennessee, including the Farragut one off Kingston Pike had sent in applications. He said he hopes they get approved and Ingles can sell wine as soon as possible.

“If that’s something the residents of Tennessee decided they’d like, then we are going to accommodate that wish,” Freeman said. “As soon as we’re clear to sell wine in our stores, we will.”

“This will give us an opportunity to better serve our customers and level the playing field,” Brenda Reid, Publix’s Media and Communications manager for Alabama, Georgia and Tennes-see, said. She said Publix managers in Tennessee are training this month and will send in applications later this month.

“We hope to have everything processed, shipped and ready to provide to our customers by the first of July,” she said.

Eads said Kroger would start similarly soon.

“Everybody will be selling wine July 1 come 8 a.m. That’s our goal, and that is what is legally allowed,” she said.

“We will have a very nice selection of wine. We sell wine in many of the other states where we operate, so, we will have a pretty extensive variety,” Eads said regarding Kroger’s selection of wine.

Freeman said he assumed wine would be near beer at Ingles once approved.

“It may move around a little bit depending on the store,” he said.

“It’s different in every store,” Eads said.

Mary Ann “Molly” Stiles, manager of Farragut Kroger Marketplace, recently said during a Town Beer Board meeting wine would be located near a recently installed area for tasting local beers at the Farragut store.

Eads said the State approved 85 Tennessee Kroger locations on the April agenda and the rest would be on its May agenda.

“It’s what customers want. It’s what they’ve told us they want, so I do believe that we’re going to see a lot of interest in this from our customers and their ability to be able to pick up a bottle of wine as they shop for groceries,” she said.

“This session that just ended was an early stocking deal, which allowed us to receive deliveries early so that we can at least get it on the shelf, but we cannot sell wine until July 1. No retailer can,” Eads said.

She said as long as they have all their paperwork in order, all grocers can sell on July 1.