Family Dollar looking to begin alcohol sales

Family Dollar looking to begin alcohol sales


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- 'Cold beer coming soon' signs are popping up on coolers in some Family Dollar stores, as the popular chain delves into alcohol sales.

Some employees aren’t excited, saying alcohol sales could make them, customers and the stores less safe and more susceptible to things like robberies, shoplifting and loitering. Others worry about people drinking and coming into stores and asking customers for beer money.

"Because it's alcohol, that's just it,” said customer Chandra Gibson.

Gibson is a regular Family Dollar shopper. She’s ok with the company’s decision to start selling alcohol.

"It will be more convenient,” she said.

Family Dollar isn't giving a beer sales timeline, but said it's on the list for the near future.

NBC Charlotte found one store with an empty cooler stating "cold beer coming soon."

At another store, employees said the coolers are coming, but they’re not looking forward to it.

Family Dollar said beer is what customers told them they want and they're meeting that need, so beer sales will be tested in some stores.

"As a Charlotte based company, Family Dollar has proudly operated stores in the region for many years and we strive to create a safe working and shopping environment by tailoring our store operations and security for each store. In addition, we emphasize the importance of personal safety in our continuous training programs. As loitering is not permitted in front of our stores, that should not be an issue,” Family Dollar said in a statement.

Pastor Gary Fuller is a Family Dollar store shopper who tries to save money while raising four kids. The idea that some stores will soon start selling beer is a conversation he's not looking forward to having.

"I just won't want my kids to ask me that question. 'Daddy, can I have this to drink,' and have to explain to them that it's not right,” he said.

Fuller hopes alcohol sales don’t cause problems but said if it does it could change his shopping preference.

Other shoppers said plenty of places sell beer so it's no big deal. They understand why Family Dollar is trying to make money getting into alcohol sales.

Someone robbed a Family Dollar store on North Tryon Street Wednesday morning. The police report said the thief stole money and assaulted two store employees.

Currently, there is no alcohol in that store or any Family Dollar store in the Charlotte area, but some will be used to test alcohol sales soon.