Abingdon, VA – Earlier today, Food City customers celebrated the long-awaited first day of wine sales in Tennessee grocery stores.
“For years, countless Tennesseans have sought the same opportunity afforded their Virginia and Georgia friends and neighbors, to purchase wine from their local supermarket. For the past eight years, legislators and retailers across the state have worked diligently to bring their plea to fruition – and today, we celebrate that victory alongside our loyal customers,” says Food City President & Chief Executive Officer, Steven C. Smith.
Smith helped spearhead the Red White and Food campaign launched by Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association over seven years ago, in support of a series of bills sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron, Representative Jon Lundberg and Knoxville Representative Ryan Haynes.
Per Tennessee state law, the 69 of Food City’s 84 Tennessee supermarket locations licensed to sell wine began sales at 8:00 a.m. this morning. Wine sales are permitted from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (with the exception of certain holidays).
“I would like to thank our legislators, in particular Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Representative Jon Lundberg who led this effort, as well as my fellow retailers and the hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans who took the time to sign their local petition and cast their vote in the November elections to make this long-awaited day possible,” says Smith.
The wine in retail food stores referendum passed in all of the 78 eligible locations where it appeared on the ballot in the November Tennessee elections. Among those municipalities were Chattanooga, Knoxville, Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport.
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 135 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, Chattanooga and north Georgia.