Knoxville grocery stores begin petition drive to bring wine sale

Knoxville grocery stores begin petition drive to bring wine sales to local referendum vote

Posted:
East Tennessee grocery stores are now getting involved in the next step needed to bring wine sales to grocery stores. East Tennessee grocery stores are now getting involved in the next step needed to bring wine sales to grocery stores.
Local grocery stores stepped up Monday to make sure it appears as a referendum on the November ballot, kicking off a petition drive called "Red White and Food." Local grocery stores stepped up Monday to make sure it appears as a referendum on the November ballot, kicking off a petition drive called "Red White and Food."
Before the petition can be submitted, it must contain enough valid signatures from registered voters as would equal 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Before the petition can be submitted, it must contain enough valid signatures from registered voters as would equal 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election.
By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - East Tennessee grocery stores are now getting involved in the next step needed to bring wine sales to grocery stores.

It’s been a little over two months since Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law.

Previous story: Wine in grocery stores bill passes final vote

Under the law, big box retailers in communities that already allow liquor by the drink and liquor stores can now start selling wine.

However, the decision has to be made by the voters in each community through local referendums.

Local grocery stores stepped up Monday to make sure it appears as a referendum on the November ballot, kicking off a petition drive called "Red White and Food."

They are working to gather the amount of voter signatures needed to bring the issue to a vote.

"I am absolutely confident that we will get enough signatures to put this on the ballot in November,” said Food City Executive Vice President of Operations John Jones.

Stores like Food City and Kroger say customers have been asking them for a long time for wine to be made available where they already do their grocery shopping.

"We hear it over and over and over again in our stores and we've heard it for years,” said Tim Coggins, district manager of Kroger stores in Knoxville.

"It's by far the number one requested item we have in retail food stores. Wine goes with food, and we are bombarded with requests,” said Jones.

The petitions are going to be set up at Food City, Kroger, Publix and Food Lion stores all across East Tennessee for the next few months.

"It's a time for us to come together and meet the needs of what all our customers want,” said Jones.

To sign it, you must be a registered voter. The deadline to sign is August 21, when the petition must be turned over to the election commission.

Before the petition can be submitted, it must contain enough valid signatures from registered voters as would equal 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

Registered voters can only sign the petition one time.

More online: Red, White and Food website

For a full list of stores where they petitions are set up, and to keep track of how many signatures they have, visit the Red White and Food website.

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