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The Week in Review


I don’t know much more than what we have reported on the suspension of the Kroger beer license in Germantown, but it seems like the grocer got off easy.

As Abigail Warren reported, the store on Farmington got caught up in the Germantown Police Department’s routine check for businesses selling beer to underage customers.

The juvenile bought a 12-pack of Modelo. A Kroger employee failed to stop the sale when the youth went through the self-checkout lane. That resulted in the grocery chain getting a four-day suspension.

Missing its first scheduled appearance before the city’s Beer Board (aka the Board of Mayor and Aldermen) didn’t help Kroger’s defense. By no-showing the initial date, Kroger missed the chance to throw itself at the mercy of the city and seek leniency.

So it seemed.

(A quick aside here: I can say from personal experience even an old gray beard like me routinely gets carded buying beer, wine or some other product that requires the purchaser to be 21 or older).

Anyway, the Kroger employee failed the GPD’s test leading to the violation. But what is an appropriate penalty for such an oversight?
First of all, the board wasn’t too happy with Kroger’s disrespect by failing to appear when the grocer was first beckoned to face the violation. And Alderwoman Mary Anne Gibson made that point.

As for imposing a fine between $1,500 and $2,500, well Alderman Jon McCreery made a valid point: That amount doesn’t faze a company worth somewhere around $32.6 billion.

They can probably easily make up that loss in the incorrect pricing on products.

So, the Germantown officials suggested suspending Kroger’s beer-selling for four days. Maybe locking the coolers would send a visual message that the grocery chain violated the law. That the city was protecting its citizens from such underage sales.

But I’m not sure the dates of suspension could have fallen more perfectly.
The four days began this past Monday and ended Thursday. First of all – and I don’t have the stats to back this up – but I’m thinking Monday through Thursday are not the prime selling times for beer.

So, second of all, the suspension steered clear of the weekend, which probably is a higher sales period for beer sales.

Lastly, they got the penalty out of the way before Super Bowl weekend.

Seems like that penalty could not have been more perfectly timed for Kroger. - Suburbs editor Clay Bailey 

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