Letter: Protection is needed vs. mega-merchant
To the Editors:
Even while we bemoan the power of the strength of financial support and its lucrative results of the contributors on the national level, we find it happening here in our own state.
Since announcing its intention to open a giant liquor store in Norwalk in 2012, Total Wine has warned, through its owner, Mr. Trone, that it will obtain changes in our liquor laws. To date, in 2012 it succeeded in obtaining approval of Sunday sales and increased hours of operation Mondays through Saturdays. In Norwalk particularly, this changed the competition and totally revised the landscape of the liquor sales business due to elimination just a couple of years earlier of a 1,500 foot minimum distance between stores. Also during this period, approval was given to the sale of beer in supermarkets.
Currently, Total Wine, with at least 85 stores in 14 states, advertises prices lower than the state allowed minimum price level, flagrantly and knowingly breaking the law. Is this any way to run a liquor store, or an airline, or any venture? Break the law and you are legally tried and admonished. Unless, I guess, your monetary support is paramount?
What of the existing establishments, the well known genre of moms and pops that have invested their now increasing hours and their life savings in the pursuit of that well known fact that America’s economy is dependent on small businesses? The American dream? I believe our national law still prohibits the establishment of monopolies. Now that this mega-merchant is squeezing the will out of these entrepreneurs, this last push will essentially break that law as well and what business, upon operating on laws which have stood for many years, and now, the past 5 or 6, have completely changed from the protections under which they first made their investments, can survive.
Our government should provide protection against such intrusions and uphold the laws at least as they currently are. Penalize Total Wine, hold the minimum price level, and allow existing stores to acclimate to the fast changing climate.