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- Wegmans is being accused of trying to get around Maryland laws prohibiting grocery stores from having liquor licenses. The chain is opening a store in Columbia that would have a liquor store on the second floor. Ninety-percent of the liquor store would be owned by the husband of Wegmans president Colleen Wegman. The Baltimore Sun looked at the issue:

Wegmans has had to deal with bans on beer and wine sales in other states. In New York, it has rented space to liquor stores for decades at shopping centers it has developed and anchors. In New Jersey, it has subleased space to liquor stores owned by members of the Wegman family.

Each of the liquor stores Wegmans leases space to in New York and New Jersey is independently operated, a company spokeswoman said via email.

“Wegmans receives none of the profits from these stores,” Jeanne Colleluori said. “However they do provide one-stop shopping to Wegmans’ customers, which is our true goal with these types of arrangements.”

(snip)

…others say this is the only way that chains can deal with the often conflicting patchwork of local and state laws they encounter when trying to expand into Maryland.

Smith says the Wegmans chain would have no control, management or ownership at all in the venture. O’Donnell “has a dozen or so other start-up ventures he does on his own,” (the man who will own 10 percent of the Columbia liquor store, Mike) Smith said. “Nobody in Wegmans owns anything in those. I guess (people) aren’t used to couples having two high-powered careers.”

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is not in favor of wine sales in grocery stores, meaning the status quo is likely to continue for some time.

- Wegmans is not interested in the Albany market.

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- Butterflies, butterflies everywhere.