Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) already sells beer and wine in Texas, but the retail giant wants to sell liquor too. The company has scored a legal victory that will allow it to do so, but an appeal is looming as a roadblock.
ABC News has the details on Walmart’s liquor fight.
Walmart’s legal victory allowing it to sell hard liquor in Texas doesn’t mean people in the state will be able to go out and buy bottles of vodka and gin at the retail giant’s stores anytime soon.
An industry association representing Texas’ liquor store operators said Wednesday it will appeal the decision from Austin-based U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, who found restrictions on liquor sales licenses enforced by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission amounted to unconstitutional discrimination. Pitman issued his 50-page ruling Tuesday, but delayed its implementation until any appeals are resolved, and at least for 60 days.
While Walmart quickly applauded the ruling, the Texas Package Stores Association didn’t share the enthusiasm. The group, which joined the state’s fight, notes that the battle is far from over.
“We will appeal the trial court’s decision and continue to fight for family-owned liquor store owners against the world’s largest corporate entities that seek to inflate their profits by upending sensible state laws that protect both consumers and small businesses,” noted the group’s CEO, Lance Lively.
Walmart Inc shares were trading at $87.88 per share on Thursday morning, down $0.30 (-0.34%). Year-to-date, WMT has declined -10.48%, versus a 0.79% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.