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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