Is Walmart the Warrior That Will Slay Texas’ Blue Laws?
I'm going to start right off the bat by stating loud and clear that I think Texas Blue Laws are absolutely archaic, ridiculous and an unnecessary hindrance to business. With Walmart suing the TABC for the right to sell liquor, they very well may be slaying the beast -- or at least beginning the process.
Of course, should Walmart receive the right to sell liquor, they would have to follow established laws until the laws change, which hopefully they will. From KCBD:
Were Walmart to prevail in court, all TABC safety requirements, day and time restrictions, age restrictions and store design requirements would be followed and enforced. Walmart abides by similar requirements in the 31 other states where it currently sells spirits at retail package stores.
In theory, disallowing Walmart to sell liquor is a measure to safeguard small liquor stores and allow them to remain competitive. That I can get behind. However, I think most people who shop at small liquor stores will continue to do so because of the convenience, the familiarity and the good feeling they get by supporting small businesses.
I believe Walmart will lead to more spontaneous liquor sales and perhaps make liquor prices more competitive across the board. There are plenty of really large liquor stores that sell across Texas, so it's not just mom-and-pops shops that will have to consider lowering prices.
Walmart would likely have to build cages around liquor aisles to keep them off-limits on Sundays. Stores already cannot sell beer and wine before 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Walmart is a huge corporate entity with tons of money and powerful lawyers, so I believe if they decided to sue for the right to sell liquor on Sundays, they have a great chance at winning. And I would be cheering them on, because these laws make absolutely no sense.
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