No blue-light special

Not a blue-light special

Copy­right 2004 Ben S. Pollock

Thurs­day, July 1, 2004. Again prov­ing my per­sonal the­ory about Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is this week’s news about the Spring­dale Sam’s Club seek­ing a a per­mit for pack­age liquor sales. Oh, the the­ory is that Wal-Mart is con­ser­v­a­tive eco­nom­i­cally, not polit­i­cally or the­o­log­i­cally. Sam’s exec­u­tives want to move their south Spring­dale store, on U.S. 71B (Thomp­son Street on the signs, Col­lege Avenue on the lips), to west Spring­dale, on U.S. 412 West (Sun­set Avenue). The state alco­hol per­mit was denied a few weeks ago. In Wednesday’s paper, the Sam suits said even though they have the site, they may move any­place in North­west Arkansas where they can sell beer, wine and liquor. A Fayet­teville Cham­ber of Com­merce offi­cial said, come on down.

Just like with Sun­day blue laws, the issue is not reli­gious or con­cern about an increase in drunk dri­ving; the worry is that of exist­ing retail­ers fac­ing strong com­pe­ti­tion. That wasn’t in the paper, but it will be reported soon; bid­ness always comes out. Retail prices may be a sur­prise to folks; cross­ing into Mis­souri for the bor­der stores isn’t cheaper. If you travel well into that state; then you’d see what the stuff ought to cost.

I’ve left out impor­tant details: It’s a license trans­fer. In fact, how the state agency does the per­mit­ting and appeals. The point here is even though Sam’s has the new site it will play hard­ball and dump it. A poker metaphor will work well, too.

So, will you have to buy wine by the case at Sam’s? –30–

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