"Total Wine & More is waging total war on the nation’s alcohol laws — and Massachusetts is the new front line.
The largest retailer of beer, wine, and liquor in the country, Total Wine has successfully challenged longstanding alcohol laws in numerous states, tilting the marketplace to its advantage through a mix of litigation, lobbying, and rallying support from customers.
Alcohol sales on Sundays in Minnesota? Allowed as of February, thanks to a years-long campaign by Total Wine. Later closing time for liquor stores in Connecticut? That was also Total Wine. Ditto for overturning a ban on volume discounts in Maryland, and lifting the cap on the number of store licenses in South Carolina.
In Massachusetts, Total Wine has sued to invalidate a state regulation that prevents retailers from selling alcohol below cost, a common practice in other industries. The company is also about to launch a public relations campaign here challenging a state rule prohibiting alcohol retailers from issuing discount coupons and loyalty cards. It has submitted the proposed changes to a task force convened by Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to streamline the state’s alcohol laws."
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|photo by JOHN BLANDING/GLOBE STAFF - Total Wine & More has four outlets in Massachusetts, including one in Everett. Many of its outlets approach 50,000 square feet, or more than the average supermarket.|