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Kingsport Dollar General planning to launch wine sales

Matthew Lane • Sep 9, 2019 at 12:28 PM

KINGSPORT — Now that grocery stores in Tennessee are allowed to sell wine, Dollar General is getting in on the action as well.

According to paperwork filed with the city, the retailer plans to start selling wine at its 5215 Memorial Blvd. location. Last month, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the issuance of a certificate of compliance to the store.

The matter will now go to the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission for final approval.

“Dollar General is sensitive to community concerns and abides by all applicable laws,” Mary Kathryn Colbert, a spokesperson for the company told the Times News. “We are committed to selling alcoholic beverages in a safe and responsible manner by thoroughly training employees and implementing policies, including strict zero-tolerance ID checks.”

The Memorial Boulevard store will be the only Dollar General location in Northeast Tennessee to sell wine and it’s the only alcohol license the company is actively pursuing in our region, Colbert said. The company does not have an exact timeline on when the location will begin to sell wine.

Dollar General began testing selling alcoholic beverages in 2008 in response to customer demand, and today the company offers alcoholic beverages in about half of its 15,000 locations nationwide. Dollar General does sell wine in several other Tennessee stores.

Tennessee approved the sale of wine in retail food stores three years ago following a campaign spearheaded by Food City and involving other grocery stores across the state. A referendum on the matter previously passed on 78 ballots, including ones in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport.

When the law went into effect in 2016, more than 450 licensed retail food stores were able to sell wine. Locally, Food City, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Ingles, Food Lion and Kroger all went into the wine-selling business, competing directly with local package stores.

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