Merchant Innovation

Boozy Shopping? Target May Serve Cocktails In Store

Getting tipsy while shopping at Target may soon be a reality for Chicago residents this fall.

The retail giant confirmed with USA Today Monday (Aug. 31) that it has applied for two liquor licenses for a store expected to open its doors in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood in October.

While the company remained mum on the details surrounding the alcohol-centric features its new store may tout, city records confirmed Target applied for both a Package Goods and a Consumption on Premises liquor license.

If the licenses are approved, Target will not only be able to sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption, but it will be able to serve adult beverages as well.

The mix of shopping and cocktails seems to be a retail trend on the rise.

In many cases, the conversations lean towards online commerce, but drunk shopping is still on retailers’ radars — and it has been for some time.

In late 2011, The New York Times reported on the expansion of “shopping under the influence” from high-end specialty retailers (personified by wine-and-cheese parties at art boutiques and the like) into the realm of mass consumerism, facilitated by the proliferation of Internet commerce. Even then, online retailers were making efforts to cater to inebriated consumers — and speaking openly about it.

[bctt tweet=”Drunk shopping is still on retailers’ radars — and it has been for some time”]

But Target isn’t the only business looking to capitalize on the expansion of non-traditional places to grab a drink.

Taco Bell is set to test launch alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and frozen drinks in a new location in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood later this summer. Grocery store chain Kroger also has plans to launch an expansion of its beer stations to stores throughout Cincinnati after testing in several markets earlier this year.

“Wine and growler bars are a natural evolution for our adult beverage departments. By adding growlers, we are able to introduce our customers to new and emerging breweries that are only available on draft,” Jason Milburn, Kroger’s national beer coordinator, told USA Today.

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