Colorado grocery and convenience stores are now selling wine

After the narrow passing of Prop. 125 last November, CO retailers can now sell wine in stores.
Starting today, CO grocery and convenience stores will sell wine
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 9:05 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Grocery and convenience stores across Colorado are now selling wine.

After the narrow passing of Proposition 125 last November, anyone with a license to sell beer can also sell wine, starting Wednesday, March 1st.

This includes popular stores such as Safeway and King Soopers, as well as larger retailers such as Target and Walmart.

“It’s exciting,” said Andrew Fournier with Albertsons Safeway. “This is gonna be brand new for [customers]... It’s never been more exciting on a Wednesday to wake up and roll with wine launching.”

Fournier tells 11 News that for stores such as Safeway, months of preparation were needed to bring wine to the shelves. Employees started stocking up their shelves since 1 a.m.

Currently, the Safeway store on Powers and Constitution -- which 11 News visited this morning -- has about 1,000 bottles of 30 of the most popular wines on temporary shelves.

The store, as are other retailers statewide, is waiting on a “modification of premise” permit. He says this is a notification to the state that the store will be selling wine and malt beverages at certain locations.

Approval times vary. Once this location is approved, Fournier says he estimates they could have “upwards of several hundred different skews of wine in stores.”

For now, Fournier is asking customers to be patient, as they’re working to get as many wines into stores as possible.

The expanded sale of wine is also bringing more jobs to the state. At some Albertons Safeway stores, for instance, Fournier is expecting wine steward positions, benefiting customers, as well as potential employees.

But the statewide change isn’t a moment of cheers for everyone.

11 News Reporter Aaron Vitatoe spoke with a local liquor store owner who said Prop. 125 could negatively impact smaller local businesses, just like a 2019 law allowed grocery stores to start selling full-strength beer.

“Smaller ma and pop shops that are in a center where a [King Soopers] or Safeway or Walmart, whoever, are going to be affected the most because they’re going to have the most to lose,” said Jack Backman, owner of Cheers Liquor Mart.

“It’s not good for anybody as far as I’m concerned in Colorado... When the grocery stores got full strength beer for the first time, the distributors… it cost them twice as much to do the same amount of business and they raised the prices,” Backman explained.

Customers told 11 News that a big reason why they voted “yes” was for convenience’s sake. As one put it, they can finish their shopping all at once now.