Retail heavyweight pushes for end of alcohol sales ban

Kroger Marketplace at the Village at Coventry

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  The division of Kroger that oversees the grocery store chain’s stores in Indiana will hold a news conference on Friday in Fort Wayne to call for the passage of legislation that would end Indiana’s Sunday ban on the sale of alcohol at retail stores.

Kroger has joined the Hoosiers for Sunday Sales coalition which includes several retail organizations and companies of companies of all sizes according to a press release issued Thursday morning.  Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the United States and is second only to Walmart when it comes to retailers in the U.S. according to 2014 list compiled by the National Retail Federation. Kroger’s Central Division operates food stores, pharmacies and fuel centers primarily in Indiana and Illinois under the names Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less.

According to Kroger, the Hoosiers for Sunday Sales news conference will address House Bill 1624 which would allow grocery, pharmacy and liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The press release also indicated other alcohol matters would be discussed.  Kroger has supported similar legislation that has failed in past years. However in 2015, House Public Policy Committee Chairman Tom Dermody authored the legislation, meaning it has a better chance of advancing in the legislature.

Indiana is the only state that prohibits retail carryout sales of beer, wine and liquor on Sundays, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Those in favor of Sunday sales argue that Indiana loses millions of dollars in tax revenue to bordering states that do sell alcohol.

However, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers which represents liquor stores and opposes lifting the ban maintains there is no additional revenue because consumers just adapt their purchasing habits based on the days they can buy alcohol.



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