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Coalition Forms To Lobby For Sunday Alcohol Sales

Big Red Liquors

A coalition of grocery stores, business and consumer groups is renewing the push to end Indiana’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales.

Sunday sales have been a topic of debate for years, but the newly-formed Hoosiers for Sunday Sales says the push this time is different, in part because previous efforts have been joined with ending the prohibition on cold beer sales at grocery stores. That issue is now tied up in court.

By focusing solely on Sunday sales, advocates say, there is a better chance at success.

The Indiana Chamber notes the state loses $10 million to $12 million a year in alcohol sales to neighboring states.

Kroger spokesman John Elliott says that number does not even tell the whole story.

“We are giving up the entire shopping excursion," he says. "It might include a meal, or fuel, and certainly the entire shopping list for that store.”

Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers CEO Patrick Tamm, who represents liquor stores, says the push to end the Sunday sales ban isn’t part of a Hoosier groundswell. He says out-of-state interests and big business is driving it.

“We just celebrated Small Business Saturday, right?  And so then today we turn around and go, ‘Screw you small business.’  By law, we have to be Indiana residents.  We are Indiana business owners," Tamm says.

Tamm notes Indiana stores are allowed to sell alcohol 73 percent of the hours in the week. He says allowing Sunday sales will only hurt liquor stores because it will increase their operating costs by having to open an extra day without sufficiently adding sales.

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