Resident Cites Concerns Over ShopRite Liquor Sales
Dr. Peter King asked the council to weigh in on his worry that a food store selling alcohol is becoming a liquor store selling food.
In June 2012, the Parsippany Town Council approved the Route 46 ShopRite's request to transfer its liquor license to the supermarket so that it could sell alcohol products from the market itself, rather than from a separate storefront. Less than a year later, a citizen brought concerns over the operation to the council at its Tuesday agenda meeting at Town Hall.
Dr. Peter King, who said he had opposed the liquor license transfer, told Patch that ShopRite misrepresented itself when it made its request last year.
"Instead of being a store that sells food and offers a limited amount of alcohol for sale, it's become a liquor store that sells a limited amount of food," he complained.
At the council's June 26 meeting, Shop Rite spokesperson Ned Gladstein said the market would confine most of the liquor to particular aisles and merely feature particular items with sale prices in different areas of ShopRite.
When Patch visited the store in July 2012, there were specific alcohol-product aisles and numerous displays throughout the store.
King expanded on his thoughts during the public comment portion of the Tuesday council meeting.
The Lake Hiawatha resident said he has visited the store periodically since the license transfer and has seen alcohol products move into just about every aisle of the market.
"That's not what we agreed to, and that's not what you people approved," he told the council. "I know they make more money selling liquor than food, but that was not the intent."
King requested that the council look into to situation in an effort to prevail upon the supermarket to abide by conditions set at the time of the license transfer.
"I know you have some way of getting their attention," King said, noting that he may take his complaint to some alcohol regulatory agency.
Councilman Michael dePierro, who expressed concerns about the change when the matter arose last June, said he already has spoken with ShopRite management about its handling of alcohol.
According to the council member, ShopRite management is looking into acquiring a site next door to house alcoholic products.
"In other words, they want to have it both ways," King responded.
Actually, such a move would recreate in essence the market's situation prior to the transfer, when the supermarket sold food and household items and marketed liquor at a separate standalone storefront in a different part of the Route 46 shopping center in which its stands.
Patch's call to Gladstein Wednesday morning was not returned.