With Alcohol Bans Lifted, Dallas Area C-stores Ready Permit Applications

DALLAS -- Retailers in the area are preparing applications for beer and wine sales permits, now that Tuesday's election lifted the alcohol bans in Dallas, University Park, Lancaster and other surrounding cities, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Retailers including 7-Eleven, Kroger, CVS and Aldi, said they plan to seek permits to sell beer and wine in their existing Dallas-area stores. The process to obtain a permit normally takes two months, but it could take longer with as many as 2,000 retail and restaurant applications expected, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven is preparing applications for each of its 42 convenience stores affected by Tuesday's election, company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the newspaper.

Kroger plans to submit license applications for four stores in Dallas and one in Addison. "We're hopeful that we'll be selling beer and wine by the Super Bowl," said Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston, who chaired the retail and restaurant effort that lobbied for the changes.

CVS, meanwhile, is planning to put beer and wine in its 25 stores in the new wet areas as soon as it can get through the process, according to a spokesman for the drugstore chain.

In addition, companies such as QuikTrip Corp. are dusting off plans to build stores on parcels they have been eyeing or holding on to for development. QuikTrip operates 80 convenience stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, but only two are in dry neighborhoods, both in Dallas, Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for the Tulsa-based chain, said in the report.

QuikTrip held back plans to build several more stores until after the election. "This opens areas for us that we wouldn't have considered," Thornbrugh said. "We have one parcel in Lancaster that we were going to sell and move on if it didn't pass this time."

Merchandise sales average 10 percent to 15 percent higher in c-stores that sell alcoholic beverages because customers who buy them also buy other items, he noted.

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