Wilmington’s Target To Become First Target In State To Sell Alcohol; Tucker’s Liquors Closes

WILMINGTON, MA — Target tells its customers to “expect more.” And it’s a promise they’re living up to. Shortly, Target customers can expect to see alcohol on the shelves of its Wilmington location.

At last night’s Selectmen’s Meeting, the Board unanimously approved the request of a transfer and change of location of an all-alcohol license from Tucker’s Liquors, 335 Main Street, to Target, 210 Ballardvale Street.

Target, which opened in October 2014, now possesses one of the town’s five package licenses.  Paul Kneeland, owner of Tucker’s Liquors, has sold his license to Target (Super Target Liquor of Massachusetts).

On social media today, Target wrote in response to a question from Wilmington Apple, “We are looking forward to soon being the first Target in Massachusetts to sell alcohol!”  No date has been given yet in terms of when alcohol sales will start at the location, but it appears to be happening in the near future.

“Outside of Massachusetts, alcohol is a product that Target carries.  Out of nearly 1,700 stores, approximately 1,250 carry alcohol in 37 states,” Joseph Devlin, a lawyer representing the company, told the Selectmen.

Devlin says that Target doesn’t want to create brand confusion, hoping that eventually a customer can go to two different stores, in two different states, and have the same experience.

Target wants to make it convenient for its customers to purchase alcohol, while giving them “unique products at a good price.”  The Wilmington location, which will have an initial inventory of alcohol valued at around $70,000, will carry about 20-25 brands that are exclusive to Target, including from vineyards and breweries producing products in limited runs.

Devlin says that store will be adding more staffing and security measures, per Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonis’s recommendations.  Devlin noted that this Target likely spends more on security than most liquor stores on the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley combined.  Devlin stressed the fact that cashiers must swipe an ID through a point-of-sale system in order for alcohol to be rung through.  Devlin also noted that if a cashier is underage, a manager will be called over to handle any alcohol sales.

State legislation passed in 2011 (explained HERE) has allowed businesses to slowly increase the number of stores that sell alcohol.  On January 1, 2012, the allowable number of alcohol licenses that a business could hold increased from 3 to 5. It will rise to 7 on January 1, 2016 and to 9 on January 1, 2020.

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