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Cherry Hill Decides Supermarkets Won’t Need A Separate Building To Sell Booze

(A Wegmans liquor store in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Credit: Michelle Durham)

(A Wegmans liquor store in Cherry Hill, NJ. Credit: Michelle Durham)

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By Pat Loeb

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — The town council of Cherry Hill, NJ has approved a change in township liquor laws that will allow supermarkets to sell alcohol inside their stores.

The change was prompted by the upcoming auction of a liquor license that’s up for grabs (see previous story).

The township previously allowed liquor sales only in standalone stores, so when Wegman’s snagged a license it had to build a separate store across the parking lots, forcing customers to leave the supermarket to get there — and eliminating most of the convenience it might have offered.

Township spokeswoman Bridget Palmer says the council felt the restriction was outdated.

“It was an effort to allow our local businesses — supermarkets, big box stores — to remain competitive with stores in other towns that currently do sell liquor,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

Palmer says some standalone stores are unhappy with the new law, fearing it will give supermarkets an unfair edge, but the township believes the standalones can still compete effectively.

“Hopefully the increased competition will lead to a better product for the consumer,” Palmer says.