Liquor stores, convenience stores, and grocery stores across the state have been rushing to get prepared for the new liquor laws that went into place as a result of the passage of State Question 792 which took effect on Oct. 1st, 2018.
Several changes to Oklahoma’s Liquor Laws have now taken effect:
- Convenience Stores and Grocery Stores may now sell beer with up 8.99% ABV and may also now sell wine with up to 15% ABV
- Liquor Stores will now be able to sell refrigerated beer and wine
- Liquor Store will now be able to sell beer stronger than 8.99% ABV and wine stronger than 15% ABV
- Liquor Stores can now open at 8:00 AM and sell until Midnight
- Liquor Stores will now be able to sell other items besides alcohol as long as those sales don’t exceed 20 percent of monthly sales.
Convenience stores and grocery stores will still not be able to sell liquor after the changes have taken place.
For local business owners, there is definitely excitement in the air over the new changes in liquor laws, but the process appears to have its growing pains as well.
The Inside Owasso team visited several local vendors this week to see what the changes looked like for local business owners.
Some common obstacles presented themselves across the board such as how to reorganize product in the stores to fit the new product changes or or learning a new distribution system having new products to deliver to new places. Stores are also bearing the cost of refitting their setup to cater to the new refrigerated products.
Jason Hower, owner of Kwencher’s Wine and Spirits in Owasso told us: “there are literally thousands of new delivery points for distributors and they have to try to figure it out. Where we used to get five day deliveries throughout the week, now we only get one or two in some cases”.
Kwenchers was in the process of installing a new 14 door cooler and a 1000 square foot beer cave to support the new ability to support refrigerated beer and wine. Many other businesses we visited were also in the process of installing large refrigeration units and getting them stocked.
Liquor Stores are also preparing to be able to provide plenty of new products that in the end will make shopping at the liquor store more convenient for customers.
We also asked Hower about having new products at Kwencher’s. Hower told us: “We get to diversify, we get to carry things we have never been able to carry before, things that make sense: a bag of ice, a non alcoholic mixer, or a corkscrew. Sometimes we have had people come into the store from out of state, and it blows their mind that we don’t have those things”.
Overall, it seems that once businesses have adjusted to the new changes, stores in Oklahoma will be able to offer a more convenient experience for their customers. Customers can now go to the liquor store and find nearly everything they need for a night of drinks, and have chilled beer or wine without a lot of hassle.
One thing is for sure: many consumers in Oklahoma are definitely excited about the new changes!