Questions raised over privatized liquor sales - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Questions raised over privatized liquor sales

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- State-run liquor stores will close down later this week, and large box stores are gearing up to get into the liquor business.

But when these stores start selling hard liquor, what can you expect? It's a question we posed to some supermarket customers. Some people expressed concern over rising liquor prices like Donna Bergdahl, "well, you can buy cigarettes in a grocery store and they're more expensive than what they're in a cigarette store, so I'm thinking that the liquor is going to go up. We might all be surprised."

Other people like Hallie Spencer are worried about hard liquor available in a large store open to the entire public including teens, "the end of alcohol service, people will make a bee line to the grocery store, gas station and being able to get a hold of hard alcohol at that time of night be a mistake."

To keep the state from losing millions in sales, the legislature tacked on a 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to spirit sales.

Stores like Safeway didn't want to talk about their prices, and Albertsons would only say their goal is to be competitive.

Hard liquor will go on sale this Friday, June 1st.