Total Wine gets approval to open 8th Twin Cities store

It's good news if you're looking to buy cheap booze.
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Another Total Wine & More liquor store is coming to the Twin Cities, which is good news for people looking to buy cheap booze.

The Minnetonka City Council voted Monday night to approve an off-sale liquor license for Total Wine at 14200 Wayzata Blvd. This comes a few months after the city initially denied the store's proposal to open a Minnetonka store because officials said the city had enough liquor stores.

To keep the number of liquor stores down in Minnetonka, Total Wine agreed to buy two of them – Big Top Liquor and US Liquor & Wine. Those stores will be closed prior to Total Wine opening its nearly 26,000-square-foot store just north of Interstate 394 and just east of Interstate 494, city documents show.

Construction on the store is expected to take five to six months.

The Minnetonka City Council is expected to vote on whether to allow Target to open a liquor store later this month, the Star Tribune says.

Good for you, bad for other liquor stores

This will be the eighth Total Wine in the Twin Cities since the chain entered the market a few years ago.

It's good news for the consumer because Total Wine tends to sell booze at cheaper prices than many of its competitors. Watchdog Minnesota said Total Wine does this by cutting prices on well-known brands to get people in the door, and then it marks up proprietary products like wine to compensate.

But Total Wine's business model has been criticized by municipal and mom-and-pop liquor stores, some of which have reported a loss in revenue and have been forced to lower their prices to stay competitive with big-box liquor stores. For example, in March 2015, municipal liquor stores in Edina reported they lost $765,000 because Total Wine opened a store in nearby Bloomington.

These small, independent liquor stores could see more trouble in the months to come as Sunday sales becomes legal. The Pioneer Press explained this problem, and how these small liquor stores are worried that being open on Sunday will hurt their bottom line – and encourage more big-box stores to open in the state.

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