Knoxville liquor stores prepare to compete with grocery stores

Knoxville liquor stores prepare to compete with grocery stores

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By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Some Knoxville liquor stores plan to make big changes by this summer.

It's all in an effort to compete with grocery stores that will likely be able to sell wine starting in 2016.

To even the playing field, come July 1st Tennessee liquor stores can sell things like drink mixers, snacks and more types of beer.

The manager of Cedar Bluff Wine and Spirits, Terrance Pate, says he's hoping to keep a steady flow of customers, no matter how tough the competition gets.

"We're going to be carrying cigars, beer growlers, putting in an eight tap beer growler station, putting in a walk in beer cave," Pate said.

He also says they're adding more varieties of wines, and lowering prices for some of the competitive brands.

"If they're in the grocery store, convenience wise, they're going to buy the product in the grocery store. What we have to offer is something the grocery store might not have at all, and that's going to be customer service," Pate said.

Customer Julie Haberer says she'll keep buying wine in liquor stores, rather than grocery stores.

"Grocery stores are just a convenience, this is where they come for the knowledge and hey I want to try this," Haberer said.

"Competition is always a concern, but I've been here for 23 ½ years so we must be doing something right," said Jeff Seeman, owner of the Frontier Liquor Store in Knoxville.

He says they're also adding new items to keep up with growing competition.

"If it wasn't for our loyal customers we'd be in big trouble. We have very good, very loyal customers and we are very appreciative of that," Seeman said.

Since the state passed the wine in liquor stores bill, voters will get to decide if they will allow it to happen in their cities.

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