The drugstore chain wants to add alcohol to its shelves. It opened its Orange Avenue branch in November.
Walgreens has posted its intent to sell alcohol; if granted the license by the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the chain would be allowed to sell everything from beer and wine to bourbon and rye, a development that has alarmed a competitor.
Nathan Hiedo, who along with his brothers Steve and John, owns Avenue Liquor, across the street and the Bottle Shop next door, has voiced concerns about the chain’s application.
The Hiedo brothers have owned Avenue since 1999 and the Bottle Shop since 2000. They also own two liquor stores in San Diego.
“There are already four places within two blocks that sell alcoholic beverages – Vons, Park Place Liquor and his two stores. In addition there is a bar, Danny’s, a wine bar, Wine Styles and two restaurants, Primavera and Burger Lounge, that sell alcohol.
“You would think the city would be concerned with so many places selling alcohol,” Hiedo said.
Earlier this year when Starbucks announced its intention to sell beer and wine, a number of residents objected. Even the Coronado City Council voiced its concerns. Some critics had issues about the number of establishments selling liquor in Coronado.
Hiedo’s alarm is more about the crowded marketplace, though both his shops have done well against the competition, even Vons. We get along with Vons. “If we send people to them, they send people to me,” he said.
He stocks a number of specialty brands that Walgreens probably wouldn’t offer. Still, most of his sales come from the better-known brands that Walgreens will likely carry.
“Most of my profits come from these, not the specialty brands,” he said.
He supports competition, but feels this is another example of a big corporation pushing out a small business. Walgreens opened last month.
“I see it happening everywhere. It’s not good,” he said.
ABC will accept comments on Walgreens’ application for two more weeks. They can be sent to 3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, 95834.
Source and see photos at: Patch Coronado