Total Wine & More local impact will ‘dent’ tax $: Purvis

With Total Wine & More scheduled to open it’s first location in Tennessee along Parkside Drive in Turkey Creek this summer according to Shop Farragut Alliance members, just outside of Farragut Town limits in the former HH Gregg location, the retail giant’s impact on Town of Farragut’s tax base was discussed earlier this month.

“[They will] open up in late July or early August,” according to David Purvis, alliance member and former co-owner of Farragut Wine & Spirits.

A Total Wine & More spokesperson said in late March the company, which has stores in 21 states, had not narrowed its anticipated window of opening to “late July or early August.”

As for Total Wine’s impact on Farragut, “it will put a dent in our tax collections here,” Purvis said.[A wine and spirits retailer outside of Farragut] says they’ll close when [Total Wine] opens.”

Speaking during Shop Farragut Alliance’s third-Thursday of the month meeting March 15 in Town Hall, Purvis said the opening “will impact everybody” selling wine, spirits and liquor in the Town of Farragut and immediate area.

However, “I think they’ve overestimated this market,” Purvis said. “They think they’re going to take 50 percent of the wine and spirits market by their third year.

“And there’s no way they can do that,” he added. “They’re going to get regional draw, but at the same time people from North Knoxville, East Knoxville, South Knoxville aren’t going to go to Total unless they’re in Turkey Creek.”

David Smoak, Town administrator, said about Farragut revenues, “We have seen a slight decrease in our mixed alcohol tax over the past [fiscal] year.”

With Tennessee General Assembly lawmakers considering legislation to make wine, spirits and liquor sales legal on Sunday, Purvis said, “It will probably get passed because there’s some concessions and some negotiations going on.

“They had me testify in the House, and I could tell by the way they were talking it’s a done deal,” he added.

Repeated attempts to contact Ed Cooper, a Total Wine public relations official, were unsuccessful.