Some store owners not happy about Sunday liquor sales

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Staff Writer

Indiana is being petitioned to repeal their longstanding alcohol sales ban, however local liquor stores are not as excited as some would think -- in fact, they're opposed to the idea.

Why? Most liquor stores are family owned and operated, which means the owners work the register everyday they're opened. Sunday right now is their day off from work.

For this reason, many stores may still remain closed which would drive their customers to chain stores such as Wal-Mart, CVS and Kroger.

Bainbridge's Country Cork & Cap owner Sandy Burkley said, "People in our state are already trained. They know to buy their liquor on Saturday evening if they want some for Sunday."

Burkley is not alone in being opposed to the new petition that has been signed by 13,000 people and was created by a coalition called Hoosiers for Beverage Choices (HBC).

Greencastle's North Side Kork & Keg owner Debbie Hartley stated it as simply as she could by saying, "It would hurt us."

Liquor stores are already falling behind franchises in alcohol sales due in part to the chain stores acquiring their licenses for less that $1,000.

"Most people don't know these things, but Kroger sells their beer below cost because they can recoup the money elsewhere in the store," Burkley said.

"But for us, we can't even sell cold pop, candy or gum. I also know that a couple liquor stores around Indianapolis have paid over $200,000 for their liquor license while Wal-Mart got theirs for $250 since it could be added to their Pharmacy license."

Burkley said she was fined for even selling bait worms out of her store since she is so near a lake.

"People get excited when they hear about the possibility of Sunday sales in the state but don't really realize what all it would involve," Burkley added. "Most liquor stores like us are strongly opposed to the possibility because we're already being hurt by the chain stores."

Indiana is one of only 15 states that still has these laws against buying carry-out alcohol on Sunday's. Since 2002, 13 states have lifted their ban on Sunday sales.

According to the HBC's Web page (, "Sunday is the 2nd busiest grocery shopping day of the week, yet customers are inconvenienced by Indiana's antiquated prohibition on Sunday carry-out sales. Indiana is the only state that discriminates against drug, grocery and convenience store customers by limiting the sale of cold beer to a single segment of the industry (package liquor stores).

Indiana retailers are keenly aware of the wants and needs of their customers and have taken note of these consumer concerns. For these reasons, trade associations such as the Indiana Petroleum Council, the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, and the Indiana Retail Council support this coalition."

23 retailers join in this battle against the old-standing law and privately owned liquor stores statewide.

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  • It's another one of the many laws that need to go. It's not up to the government when and where we buy our liquor.

    -- Posted by hoop2077 on Mon, Sep 22, 2008, at 11:25 PM
  • Next to come is being able to sell a car on Sunday. I share the same view as the Liquor Store owners. Give it a rest for one day. An older, successful businessman once told me, " If you can't make a living in 6 days, you aren't going to make it in 7".

    I never knew that chain retailers get discounted licenses, or that liquor stores are limited to what they can sell. As usual, more power to the corporation, step aside small business owner.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 4:51 AM
  • Workers and drunks need to take at least one day off. If alcohol is needed that bad they have a stash somewhere. It is not a need like medication, gas or food. It is a "want" that can be done without. It causes more trouble then it is worth.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 6:24 AM
  • Who are you to tell me when i can purchase something. Those "Blue Laws" are the dumbest thing ever created.

    -- Posted by idiot on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 6:27 AM
  • I think that you should be able to buy liquior on Sunday. The law is stupid that's why 13 states in the last 6 years have appealed it. And only 15 hillbilly states still have it.

    And to sonicfilter your more likely to smashed by your so called "low life drunk driver" on Sunday, because they have to go out and drink instead of buying it and going home.

    Jump into the correct century Indiana!

    -- Posted by dcsaiht on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 7:43 AM
  • I have to agree with vlcrod. It would be great if everything was closed on Sunday. A day of rest and spending time with your families. But we know that isn't going to happen.

    People who want to drink on Sunday are going to drink on Sunday. If you can't buy it on Sunday, you buy it on Saturday.

    I see our system as being very hypocritical - you can't go to the store, buy alcohol on Sunday and go home and drink it but you can go to a bar, watch a football game, drink and drive home. It's all about the money. Drinking a six-pack in bar costs you three times as much as buying a six-pack at the liquor store.

    And to mad-mom: you must not know anything about alcoholism because alcohol is a basic need for an alcoholic. They can become deathly ill if they do not drink.

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 9:19 AM
  • Alcohol is is something that is not a necessity to survive in everyday life. It is like a extra activity, unless you are a alcoholic.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Tue, Sep 23, 2008, at 10:30 PM
  • The beverage laws in Indiana are not laws per se, but rules, enforced by the alcoholic beverage commmission. They can change rules with very little input from the public or the legislature. BTW, when Indiana set up the rules after the repeal of prohibition, the intent of the rules was to promote temperance. Hence, no Sunday sales, state-wide laws instead of local option, etc.

    -- Posted by localman on Wed, Sep 24, 2008, at 5:52 AM
  • "23 retailers join in this battle against the old-standing law and privately owned liquor stores statewide."

    Hmmm, I thought the battle was against a bunch of white haired religious politicians or some "Mad mothers against this or that" group but it turns out to be a few retailers that want to dictate our rights as consumers so they can do two days worth of commerce every saturday.

    I used to run a liquor store and we did quite well against the grocery store competition by organizing a "buyers group", a partnership of other liquor stores going in together to buy greater volumes at lower costs.

    As far as the ethical arguments about alcohol, I really don't care, people will drink on sunday wether we like it or not. Less government restriction is always good because first, I'm an American and pay taxes to enjoy freedom and secondly, less restriction means less profit for illegal entrepeneuers.

    -- Posted by westforty on Mon, Sep 29, 2008, at 8:14 AM
  • As a dailey reader of our "Putnam Scanner" I must chuckle when reading this column. Booze is VERY important to this county obviously,judging by how many of the scanners arrests are for alcohol related offenses.Back in the 70's I was ticketed for DUI after a party in my honor.When hammered by Judge Gray, I asked why the really heavy punishment since at that point I'd driven for years and never even had a parking ticket.She replied that harsh sentences were the norm in her court because per ratio of population of people to ammount of alcohol arrest in Putnam Co.,our county was the worst in the state. I see by the scanners listings now a days,not much is different.Sure, along w/those booze arrests,there are tons of "battery" ones,not sure if there are connections.Ahhh, Putnam County at its finest... I really dont think Sunday sale will change much, those "winners" we read about every day in the scanner will find theirselves published regardless of any new laws or ordinances.

    -- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Mon, Sep 29, 2008, at 2:04 PM
  • Is this the bible belt? Just because people drink "booze" does not mean they are bad people or criminals!! I don't understand why the store owners are upset. If they do not want to work on Sunday....KEEP THE STORE CLOSED! Why would the possibility of legalization of Sunday liquor sales cause them such anguish? Sunday is not any different than any other day of the week for many people, but the religious preference of the believers seems to shape our society.

    -- Posted by ExHoosier on Tue, Sep 30, 2008, at 5:23 PM
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