Employees at Franklin Liquors have always had Sundays off, but that changes this weekend.
With alcohol sales now being allowed Sundays in Indiana, one of the three Franklin Liquors’ locations, located at 295 N. Morton St., will be open this Sunday as a test to see just how busy the stores will be, manager William Cobb said.
That means scheduling more employees and shifting their work hours throughout the week to prepare to be open on a day they are usually closed. If only a handful of customers come in this Sunday — likely because they aren’t yet used to breaking their tradition of buying alcohol on other days — one store is likely what will remain open. But if customers come in droves, more stores could be open in the future, Cobb said.
“We’re going to try to find out what the demand is going to be and go from there,” Cobb said.
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For big box stores such as Kroger to locally-owned liquor stores, the passage of the new law has led to a rush to make sure they are ready to for when Sunday alcohol sales begin. That means putting up signs to alert customers to the change, reprogramming computers so alcohol sales can go through at the newer times and rescheduling staff who’ve always had Sundays off before.
Yesterday, the governor signed a bill legalizing alcohol sales on Sundays. The law, which was passed last week by state lawmakers, will go into effect immediately, with sales allowed from noon to 8 p.m. That means when you go to pick up your groceries Sunday, you’ll be able to bring home a six-pack for the week as well.
The biggest question is how many people will be showing to purchase beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.
Because of the Sunday sales ban, the two biggest days for alcohol sales have traditionally been Friday and Saturday at Kroger stores, spokesperson Eric Halvorson said.
“Our sales have been so strong on Friday and Saturday before, it will be interesting to see if that changes the way people shop the days ahead of Sunday,” he said.
In preparation for the law change — which Kroger and other big box stores had been lobbying for — they have been making sure all their employees are aware of what that will mean on Sunday.
“It is an opportunity that everyone at Kroger is thrilled to have, a way to offer another service for customers,” Halvorson said.
No longer will the beer, wine and liquor aisles need to be roped off. Alcohol sales are only allowed until 8 p.m., so that will mean some shoppers will still find the aisle blocked off until stores re-open Monday morning.
Cashiers will no longer have to go through their well-rehearsed reminder to customers that Indiana law prohibits alcohol sales on Sunday, so they will not be able to purchase that bottle of wine or case of beer.
And cashiers will need to be ready to check the IDs of people purchasing alcohol on Sunday.
The law won’t require Kroger to hire additional employees, but they will have to restructure schedules to make sure the workers involved with alcohol sales, such as wine stewards and attendants, are available on Sundays, he said.
Payless Liquors, which has two locations in Greenwood and a couple dozen in the central Indiana area, will be open on Sunday, but owner Charles Key doesn’t expect them to be busy because of how ingrained shopping habits are for alcohol, he said.
But like other stores, he is taking a wait-and-see approach to how they will manage Sunday sales, which will be dependent on how much demand they see from customers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Have the urge to pick up a package of beer or bottle of wine on Sunday? With a new law signed earlier this week, you’ll now be able to go shopping for alcohol on Sundays.
Starts: Sunday, March 4
Sale times: noon to 8 p.m. every Sunday