(Tallahassee, Fla.) – With House Bill 107 by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) to be heard in the Florida House Regulatory Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 9, 2015, Floridians for Fair Business Practices (FFBP) today released data that dispels the myth that states without alcohol separation laws put liquor stores and independent shops out of business.  

An analysis of data from Arizona, California, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska provided by FFBP coalition members Target and Walmart as of February 2015 revealed that big box stores do not hold the majority of liquor licenses in these states. In fact in four out of the five states analyzed, big box stores hold less than 10 percent of liquor licenses. The analysis found: 


Of the 1,686 total Series 9 licenses (liquor store) Circle K is the largest holder with 18% (304). Walmart and Sam’s Club collectively hold 7% (121). Target holds 44 licenses for beer and wine sales alone. 


Of the 13,487 active Class 21 licenses (off premise sales of beer, wine, and spirits), Walmart and Target collectively hold just 3.6% (261 and 237 respectively). 


Of the 1,279 active Class E licenses (off premise sales for beer, wine, and spirits), convenience and private package stores collectively hold 54% (692); grocery stores hold 26% (330); and big box retailers hold 12% (157) with Target at just 1.4% (19). 


Of the 4,714 active Original Package licenses (off premise sales of beer, wine, and spirits), Casey’s General Store is the largest holder with 6.5% (308). Walmart and Sam’s Club collectively hold just 3% (148), and Target stores account for less than 1% of licenses holders, with 34.


Of the 2,539 active Class C (beer, wine and spirits on and off premise) and Class D (beer, wine and spirits, off sale only) licenses, Walmart and Sam’s Club hold just 1.8% (46). Target has just .5% (13) of these licenses.  

By leveling the playing field, liquor stores, grocery stores, and big box retailers can fairly compete for the business of their shoppers. This is both good for the consumer and the business. Given the facts, why does Florida law continue to give protection to liquor stores over small and large retailers? Liquor stores can, and do, co-exist in communities where alcohol is sold alongside beer and wine, and these states are prime examples.