Was shopping this morning at a popular Wisconsin grocery story with a name that outsiders just don’t get: Piggly Wiggly. Haven’t been there for a while. As I went to a few different parts to pick up a few things, it seemed that I ran into beer or liquor at every turn. I wondered how many distinct liquor displays were in the store, so I paid attention and counted. Two aisles were dedicated to liquor and beer: two sides to each aisle for four total separate alcohol sections. But there were prominent end displays for each of those aisles. That’s a lot of space! But it was just the beginning. I noted that there was a big chilled liquor area next to dairy products, and several big central displays scattered along the central lane of the store that cuts across the aisles. Alcohol was being marketed in prominent displays by the produce area, and more by the meats, and more on shelves in several other parts of the store. Liquor was on display across the store from aisle one all the way down to aisle 18; it was at the back of the store, at the front, and in the central lane. As I approached the check out lane, there was a little tub with some more alcoholic beverages.
All told, I counted TWENTY-SIX (26) distinct regions of the store marketing liquor Each side of the liquor aisles counted as one, and the end displays were counted separately. Two non-adjacent floor displays in the produce area were just a couple feet apart, so I counted them as one, but separately counted the cardboard boxes of Schlitz on the shelves not far from those floor displays.
In counting all these booze-pushing sections of the store, by the time I got to 19, I actually came close to swearing. Well, just a fleeting temptation, honestly. Got past that by singing a couple of hymns. Well, beer songs, actually. Was a rough morning.
Our state has a drinking problem. More accurately, our nation has a drinking problem. Who can resist the profit incentive that drives grocers to market booze at every turn, with every expanding sections of the store devoted to pushing this harmful drug? With all the harm that this product causes to so many people, I’m disappointed that so few have the courage to not join in the profiteering. Well, whoever is resisting out there, thank you – and please let me know who you are.