Smoak details impact of wine store closings

While grocery store wine sales continue to negatively impact Town of Farragut wine and spirits retailers, an industry giant locating just outside of Town limits will look to further change alcohol spending habits.

However, despite the recent closing of a second wine and spirits store in Farragut — Cork’s Wine & Spirits, 11688 Parkside Drive — Town of Farragut isn’t hurting from a tax base perspective, it’s top non-elected government official said.

“I think what we’ve seen is a redistribution of some of those taxes we get … obviously the grocery stores are doing phenomenal because they’re able to sell wine now,” David Smoak, Town administrator, reported to Shop Farragut board during its monthly meeting Friday morning, April 20, in Town Hall.

“I think, overall, our sales and mixed drink tax (revenues), are not considerably higher, but they’re not considerably lower,” he added.

Cork’s relocated to the Old City in downtown Knoxville when “their lease ran out,” said Jim Nixon, board member.

Looking ahead to the opening of Total Wine & More in the former HH Gregg building in Turkey Creek just outside of Farragut this summer, “We’ll just have to wait and see how that impacts the other stores we have in Town,” Smoak said. “Certainly the ones that are closer to them will be more impacted.”

Meanwhile, at the renovation site for the new TW & M, “They’re working furiously on it. … They probably will be open by June,” said David Purvis, board member and former co-owner of Farragut Wine & Spirts in Farragut.

“The reason I say this is their license expires sometime the first part of July. And if they don’t (finish before that expiration), they have to go back and re-apply.

“And they’ve got some legal problems,” he added.

Attempts to contact Total Wine officials were unsuccessful.

Purvis also told the board that Turkey Creek Wine & Spirits, 10903 Turkey Drive, “is closing.”