VANCOUVER, Wash. - On June 1, supermarkets will start selling liquor in Washington state, marking the end of a long process that began last fall when voters approved an initiative that lifted the ban on selling booze in stores larger than 10,000 square feet, KGW-TV reports.
A local Fred Meyer store started the week by shifting merchandise to make room for liquor. "We actually were able to expand some areas of grocery to give our customers a little bit more and make more sense for our customers as they shop," said manager Kim Hall.
Opponents questioned whether removing the state from the liquor business would lower prices to consumers. Some shoppers have indicated slightly higher prices would be worth the convenience of not having to stop at a separate store to purchase liquor.
"I don't think it encourages anyone to drink any more or anything like that, I just think it's time Washington caught up with the way it's supposed to be," said Ester Wright as she shopped at Fred Meyer.
A few small stores will stock liquor, including New Seasons, which will have a small shelf of locally distilled spirits. The auction of liquor licenses brought in around $30.8 million to the state. Costco pushed hard to pass the bill so that liquor could be sold in their stores.