Only One Memphis Store Tries Out

Memphis Press Scimitar, August 1981


After a 42-year dry spell, Memphis liquor retailers appear hesitant to advertise their prices, even though it is now legal.

Only Buster's Liquors at 3493 Poplar has advertised its prices since the state ban on advertising was lifted July 31. Manager Michael Scruggs said today sales are running about 30 percent better than usual. Buster's first ad appeared in Friday's Press-Scimitar.

Other store managers have a wait-and-see attitude about advertising.

Jerry Palazolo, manager of Cedar Grove Station Wines and Liquors, 5010 Raleigh-Lagrange, said he has no definite plans to advertise.

"We haven't decided one way or the other. We're waiting to see what the market does." Said Milton Kirschner, manager of Flask Wines and Liquors 3327 Winchester: "You can still buy liquor twice as cheap in West Memphis. You can't compete with West Memphis, and nobody's going to stop people from going over there and bringing liquor back to Memphis." Tennessee law forbids importing liquor into the state without paying the state tax. But WestMemphis has been an attractive outlet because taxes there are lower.

The tax on liquor is Tennessee is $4 a gallon; in Arkansas it is $2.50.

Tennessee's Alcoholic Beverage Commission previously patrolled West Memphis liquor stores and arrested Tennesseans who brought liquor fromArkansas into Tennessee. But the West Memphis City Council passed an ordinance last summer banning the ABC from patrolling the city's stores. Periodic surveillance of bridges leading into Memphis from Arkansas still occurs, according to ABC Director Elyon Davis.

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