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Wine in Groceries Includes 20% Markup

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A plan to allow Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine is now headed to Governor Haslam's desk, but some of the fine print may surprise you.               

The House and Senate have both approved the bill which will allow local referendums beginning in November, 2014.

The bill also says that grocery stores must charge a 20% markup on every bottle of wine. That provision is supposed to prevent groceries from undercutting liquor stores.

The House sponsor also says groceries shouldn't use low wine prices to get people in the door. "We didn't want alcohol to become a loss leader, and we're suddenly selling alcohol really cheaply to get people in the door," says TN Rep. Jon Lundberg, (R)Bristol.

Rep. Lundberg says it is possible the 20% markup could be reduced by a future vote in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Governor Haslam is expected to sign the bill into law, but the earliest you could see wine in groceries is July 2016.

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