The House State Government Committee and Senate State and Local Government Committee day both approved a bill to give local retailers the opportunity to be open and to sell wine and spirits seven days a week. The legislation, HB1540/SB2518, is sponsored by Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and includes the following key provisions:
It allows retail liquor stores the option of being open seven days a week upon enactment.
Retail food stores can begin selling wine seven days a week beginning Jan. 1, 2019.
It allows wine and spirits to be sold on holidays such as New Year’s Day, Independence Day, etc., which currently is not permitted.
Officials said the legislation aims to update the inconsistency of current state law. For example, today beer, wine and spirits can be sold any day of the week for on-premises consumption at a number of places including restaurants, sporting events, hotels, theaters, convention centers, airports, retirement centers, tourist resorts and many others, and distilleries can sell up to five gallons any day of the week. Tennesseans can buy beer in grocery stores any day of the week, but retail liquor stores can’t choose when they are open.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, in states that have passed seven-day-sales since 2002, retailers have seen an increase in sales, between 4 and 11.5 percent, even after adjusting for diversion from other days of the week. In Tennessee it is estimated that allowing seven-day-sales would generate $20 to $28 million each year for retailers, said officials.
The bill sets consistent hours for the sale of wine and spirits from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday.