Wichita liquor store sees little change in sales since new laws enacted

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

It was only four months ago that Kansas grocery and convenient stores stocked their shelves with 6% beer for the first time instead of 3.2%. However, those stores were not the only ones who started selling new products.  

Changes in liquor sale laws also included a compromise: liquor stores could sell nonalcoholic products. Tom Jacob, owner of Jacob Liquor, is making the most of the compromise to compensate for sales.

"We've had a little bit of experience because we had an accessories store that we had next door that was a completely separate business, and by doing that, we've been able to offset and gain a little bit on selling products," Jacob said.

The shelves of Jacob Liquor in east Wichita can be seen stocked with nonalcoholic drinks, snacks, food and wine accessories. Jacob says they've had a hard time keeping these items in stock.

"We'll go with what our customers want, and right now they'll take a little bit of everything," Jacob said. "And so we're having a hard time keeping up with products being out of stock."

Tom Kessler, owner of Tom's Wine & Spirits, also was selling non-alcoholic products in the neighboring smoke shop. However, he is only selling a few wine openers, pop and 3.2% beer in his liquor store.

"We've kept our focus as a liquor store," Kessler said. "That's the one thing we do; we are a liquor store. So we really haven't changed too much."

Kessler hasn't seen any changes in sales, though. He believes his the store's prices, selection and customer service set them apart from others.

"We honestly haven't seen much of a difference, much of a change," Kessler said. "We offer a lot of stuff that the grocery stores and convenient stores can't."

Neither owner has seen any major changes in sales, but they still both do not see the changes in liquor sale laws in a positive light.

"There's no way it can be a positive," Jacob said. "When you have five times as many outlets selling the product as there was before, it's going to affect every liquor store's business."

Story by KAKE News intern Maeve Ashbook. Follow her on Twitter

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