New Minimum Inventory Standards for Grocery Stores Selling Beer- Slightly Eases the Restrictions for Small Convenience Stores

The Liquor Authority interprets the definition of “grocery store” to mean a business that devotes at least 50% of its public floor space exclusively to the display of “consumer commodities.” To qualify for a grocery license, the retailer must have for sale:

1. Food for people or pets but NOT alcoholic beverages or carbonated beverages. At least ten (10) different food items must be eligible for purchase using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits.

2. Household items, such as napkins, facial tissues, toilet tissues, foil wrapping, plastic wrapping, paper towels, and disposable plates and utensils.

3. Personal health/hygiene items, such as non-prescription drugs, hygiene products and toiletries.

To determine the 50% compliance with this standard, use the following formula:

(Total square feet consumer commodities/ Total square feet of licensed premises) > 0.5

In calculating the total number of square feet of floor space occupied by the licensed premises, businesses occupying less than 5,000 square feet may exclude up to 10% of their floor space for area used for food preparation, bottle redemption and automated teller machines. Businesses occupying 5,000 or more square feet may not exclude any space used for such purposes.