Current Florida Law
- Florida law currently restricts hard liquor sales to a separate store that sells liquor and related products like mixers, party supplies and equipment, as well as tobacco.
- Florida law also limits and controls direct access to liquor stores by requiring customers to enter through a separate door facing the outside of the establishment.
- Florida businesses are operating properly and competing fairly under current Florida law.
You Asked…We Answered
What is your response to supporters of the proposed change saying this prohibition is an archaic law that needs to be brought into the 21st century and calling it a customer convenience issue?
This is merely an attempt by out-of-state companies to change the rules midgame in an effort to seek an unfair market advantage. There is no constituency demanding this change to current Florida law. We believe Florida grocery and liquor stores are operating properly and competing fairly under current Florida law.
Wouldn’t it be more convenient for Florida consumers if they could purchase their alcohol while shopping at the grocery store?
Florida consumers already have the ability to conveniently purchase hard liquor. Florida law allows one retail liquor license for every 7,500 residents per county, or approximately 5,200 quota liquor licenses statewide – 2,500 which include independent liquor stores with off-site premise sales only.
Opponents say there are rules and regulations that prohibit growth and expansion of Florida business. Do you think by “Keeping the Wall,” this will hinder the success of businesses in the Sunshine State?
Absolutely not. Florida’s family grocery stores have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building business models that fit within the current context of Florida law. Florida grocery and liquor stores that sell hard liquor are already competing in a healthy marketplace under compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
There are currently 30 states that allow the sale of liquor without a separation requirement. Why shouldn’t Florida be one of those states?
There is a clear disparity in the number that is being circulated. A study by the Beer Institute was updated by the American Beverage Licensees in 2015 and shows that there are only 21 states that allow the sale of liquor without a separation requirement. While we cannot speak to the reasons why those other states chose to move forward with removing “The Wall,” we can tell you that there is no constituency here in Florida that is requesting that this law be changed. This is simply an attempt by out-of-state retailers wanting to change existing law to better fit their business model.