By KEVIN CRAFTON
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 (www.beveragechoices.com), "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.