Report Recommends Allowing Private Liquor Sales Next to Grocery Stores

(KCPW News) The state could be making a lot more money from liquor sales, consultants told Utah lawmakers on Wednesday. Bob Springmeyer, President of Bonneville Research, which was hired to look into the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s business plan, says the state should consider allowing grocery stores to sell liquor.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate that alcoholic beverages, wine and spirits be sold inside the grocery stores with the apples and the pears and the peaches, but that they be sold with a separate store, have a separate entrance, separate staffing, but could be located in a shopping center that the grocery store anchors,” he explained.

Springmeyer says he doesn’t believe this would lead to more alcohol consumption, but several lawmakers disagree.

Republican Senator John Valentine spoke out against the recommendation, saying Utah has worked hard to keep alcohol controlled.

“My concerns are overconsumption, ease of administration, public safety concerns, the things we have set out as the goals for liquor in Utah,” he told KCPW.

The Bonneville Research study also found half of DABC employees left their job last year, costing the state more than $200,000 in training. It also found stores are not efficiently using their space, with several using half of their expensive retail space as a warehouse.