October 1st is soon approaching, and with it brings a change to Oklahoma’s liquor laws. Oklahoma is one of only five states left selling low-point beer, but this is about to change. On October 1st, it will be legal to sell full strength beer and wine not only in liquor stores, but grocery stores as well.
The transition however, has not been an easy one. Thunderbird Liquor owner Terrence Heckart said that this is something he has never seen in his 32 years of business. “It’s a nightmare, in restaurants, I have friends that own bars, other liquor stores, the sales people. There is no one happy. No one, no one at all happy at all with this, except maybe Walmart”.
Stores like Walmart are attracting large importers and distributors due to the large volume in their orders, which is leaving small mom-and-pop liquor stores scrambling for the scraps.
“We have always had pretty good service. We had delivery Monday through Friday from all my distributors. Now my favorite distributor out of Tulsa, who I am in the top three percent of their deliveries, they are going to deliver to me twice a week… The others have dropped me down to one day a week.” Says Heckart.
With large distributors favoring shipments to big box stores like Homeland, Target and Walmart the days for small mom-and-pop liquor stores may be numbered. Consumers will have to make up their own minds on October 1st.