The City of Madison Common Council met Tuesday night to reconsider items from their previous meeting regarding the Wisconsin drinking climate.
On Feb. 6, the Council failed to override Mayor Paul Soglin’s veto of a bill, which would allow the sale of alcohol online and pick up in a designated parking area of the store, also known as the ‘Click and Collect’ law.
Several members of the Madison community were in attendance at the Tuesday meeting to support their businesses. Bob Hemauer, proprietor of Cork ‘n’ Bottle, believed the ordinance should not be put into place as it would hinder local businesses like his.
“I hope [the Council] will consider the consequences of legislating competitive advantages to out of state Big Box competitors, versus small neighborhood stores without access to parking,” Hemauer said.
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Hemauer said the policy will cause the Big Box stores in Madison to out compete smaller stores because of the convenience to customers. Cork ‘n’ Bottle, like other locally owned liquor stores, does not have the space to accommodate this legislation, Hemauer said.
The small businesses in Madison are the ones that make up the fabric of the city, and make it a unique place to live, Hemauer said.
Another community member in attendance was Brienna Cotten, assistant real estate manager for Roundy’s Supermarkets. Cotten said the ordinance should be put into place because it would help businesses in Madison.
“The retail market is changing, you can see that on the weekly news, based on what’s happening with traditional retailers,” Cotten said. “It’s Roundy’s goal to continue its tradition in Wisconsin as a strong retailer by changing with the market trends, and this is where the ‘Click and Collect’ legislation comes in.”
Cotten said the ‘Click and Collect’ legislation will level the playing field with all consumers, no matter their disabilities. Cotten also said Roundy’s will stay true to their responsibility to make sure the sale of alcohol happens legally.
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There are currently 17 stores in Wisconsin already allowed to do this, some of which are located in Sun Prairie, Menona and Norwood Hills, Cotten said.
Ald. Mike Veveer, District 4, supports the passage of this law due to the benefits it will have on the Madison economy.
“I thought [the ordinance] was worth doing because of the convenience of our community members, people with disabilities, elderly people and people with kids,” Verveer said.
The vast majority of liquor stores in Madison are still locally owned, and many have private property parking and will want to give this freedom to their customers, Verveer said.
The Council voted 14-5 to override Soglin’s veto.