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Connecticut grocery retailers push to sell wine, citing research.png Getty Images

Connecticut grocery retailers push to sell wine, citing research

A new study indicates that lifting the ban could have little impact

More than a decade after repealing a “blue law” that prohibited alcohol sales on Sundays in Connecticut, new research shows that the change had little impact on either liquor stores or supermarkets.

In 2011, when the repeal was being considered, the liquor store industry protested because they feared consumers would stock up on beer at their local grocery stores, according to reports. Now the Connecticut Food Association (CFA), which has been pressing the state to allow wine sales in supermarkets, is calling attention to the new research as an example of how lifting some prohibitions on alcohol sales doesn’t have the negative impacts that liquor stores claim.

The recent study, conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut, the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology, and North Dakota State University, was published in the Journal of Wine Economics. The researchers looked at the history of alcohol sales in Connecticut during the time since the 2012 ruling that allowed alcohol to be sold on Sundays, as well as the alcohol sales history in other states, and found “no significant long-term economic effects on grocery and liquor stores.”

The only notable impact was a surge in beer sales on Sundays in both supermarkets and liquor stores in the first few weeks after the law went into effect, which the researchers said was possibly due to the novelty of the law. 

“This impact levels off after the initial month, with no discernible effect on sales after the seventh week,” the report notes. “Thus, the policy change has no negative impact on the beer sales of liquor stores.”

The CFA cited the new study in an article on its website titled “If You Let People Buy Beer at Grocery Stores, the Liquor Stores Still Survive,” which originally ran on Reason Magazine website

Last year the CFA touted another research report from the University of Connecticut showing that nearly 82% of consumers in the state support changing the laws to allow wine sales in supermarkets. That research also calculated that the change would likely produce a “small, but positive” impact on the state’s economy.

Currently 42 states and the District of Columbia allow wine sales in supermarkets, according to the CFA. Although a bill that would have allowed wine sales in Connecticut supermarkets died last year, the CFA continues to promote a policy change through its CT Wine Now website. Neighboring New York State is also considering legislation that would allow grocery stores to sell wine.

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