Colorado Grocery, Convenience Stores Uncork New Offerings

As of March 1st, approximately 1,900 grocery and convenience stores across Colorado began selling wine following the narrow passage of a ballot measure in November that will change the way residents of the state purchase alcohol going forward. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, licensees include all 143 King Soopers grocery stores and all 100 Safeway locations. The vote on Proposition 125 was too close to call immediately after the election. Weeks later, the measure ultimately passed with 50.6% of voters giving their approval.

“We’re really excited for Coloradans to be able to pop the champagne and purchase wine in grocery stores,” said Jessica Trowbridge, with King Soopers. “Initially, some stores will look smaller and have smaller sets, but as we go through the process, the sets will expand here, and we’re looking at providing between 1,000 to 1,500 different wines to our customers,” Trowbridge said. She said opening up wine sales will give shoppers the convenience of a one-stop shop for all their grocery needs.  

Prior to the vote, local independent liquor store owners fiercely opposed the measure, voicing concerns that allowing big-box grocery retailers to offer wine would cripple their business. In response, large out-of-state conglomerates — including the parent companies behind King Soopers and Safeway — spent millions in their attempts to help the measure pass. While Colorado voters did eventually narrowly approve the wine measure, other alcohol-related propositions were rejected.  The measures would have given liquor stores the go-ahead to open unlimited locations and would have permitted third-party delivery companies to deliver alcohol to customers’ homes.