The state’s grocers said Wednesday Tennessee could gain as many as 3,000 new jobs by changing the law to allow wine sales in their stores.
According to their economic impact study, the state’s wine market will grow by 25-55 percent if the wine-in-groceries law passes, creating between 1,597 and 3,513 jobs and generating from $19 million to $38 million in taxes and license fees for local and state governments.
“We are preventing Tennesseans from getting much-needed jobs if we don’t pass this bill,” said Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “The substantial revenue generated by this legislation doesn’t require a tax increase or an incentive to spur private investment.”
The association said the Stonebridge Research Group conducted the analysis.
Liquor stores could see a reduction in sales volume of between 5 percent and 28 percent in communities most likely to buy wine and between 104 and 597 liquor store jobs would be vulnerable, according to the report.
For the fifth straight year this session, legislators will consider whether to allow wine sales in grocery stores. A 2009 MTSU poll found that 62 percent of Tennesseans favored wine sales in food stores. But liquor retailers and wholesalers have opposed the bill, contending that it would hurt their business and increase access to alcohol by minors.