Senate Committee Postpones Vote On Wine Sales In Food Stores

Press Release from the Red White and Food Campaign, Atkinson Public Relations; March 29, 2011:

Senate Committee Postpones Vote on Wine Sales in Food Stores

SB 316 expected to return to calendar in April

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 29, 2011 – After hearing testimony from proponents and opponents of wine sales in retail food stores this morning, the Senate State and Local Government Committee postponed a vote on SB 316 to a future meeting.

“Tennesseans have been waiting a long time for the opportunity to buy wine in food stores,” said Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “We are hopeful that the committee will vote in favor of SB 316 in two weeks.”

Randy Stepherson, an independent grocer from Memphis, testified on behalf of Red White and Food during the hearing. As president of Stepherson’s Inc., he operates five grocery stores that employ 360 Tennesseans.

Stepherson said the grocery industry is better because of competition and that consumers will be the biggest winners if Tennessee allows wine in retail food stores.

Middle Tennessee State University recently found that 69 percent of Tennesseans are in favor of wine sales in food stores. More than 26,000 people have signed up as members of the Red White and Food campaign to show their support.

“Consumers overwhelmingly want wine sales in food stores, and this delay gives them more time to contact their legislators and ask for their support,” Springer said.

Red White and Food launched in March 2008 to support legislation that would allow retail food stores to sell wine. Supporters become Red White and Food members by signing up at www.redwhiteandfood.com.