Kansas stores respond to law change regarding alcohol sales

Kansas stores respond to law change regarding alcohol sales
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Beginning April 1, grocery and convenience stores across Kansas will be selling a higher-strength beer.

Currently, shelves in these locations can’t sell any beer with an alcohol content above 3.2%. That will change to 6%.

Local businesses share their reaction to the change.

It’s a busy day at Redd’s Retail Liquor Store, in Pittsburg, as customers celebrate the end of the week, and the beginning of a new era for liquor in Kansas.

“If you’re just driving by and you can’t get to the liquor store, just stop in the grocery store. It’s a good idea. I like it,” said shopper Cody Daniels.

It’s something Kansans will be able to do for the first time, beginning April 1, as convenience and grocery stores prepare to sell 6% beer, up from 3.2%, but some worry about what it will do to local liquor stores.

“I think it will hurt some of the smaller ones. It’s gonna affect us a little bit, but I don’t think it’s gonna kill us. We have a lot of loyal customers,” said Terri Menchetti, owner of Redd’s Liquor.

Under the new law, liquor stores will still be the only designated shops for beers over 6%, liquor and wine. Menchetti hopes it stays that way, and out of the hands of minors.

“I think there’s gonna be a lot of underage kids trying to steal from them, a lot easier than it is to steal from the liquor store,” said Menchetti.

The Pitt Stop, a Pittsburg convenience store, actually did renovations to make room for their expanding beer collection, going from carrying just 6 or 7 brands to over 40.

“I’ve heard quite a few people talk about it. I think they are pretty excited just because it’s obviously a higher percentage of beer,” said Ashleigh Grimes, an employee of The Pitt Stop.

The Pitt Stop is excited about the business this will bring to their store, and supporters like Daniels are too, but that won’t stop him from still coming to Redd’s.

“Stores have pretty much designated customers, you know. Like, this is the only liquor store in town I shop at,” expressed Daniels.

3.2% beer is running low, as many Kansas grocery and convenience stores like the Pitt Stop prepare to re-stock their shelves with stronger beer for Monday.