Indiana Convenience Stores Launch Alcohol Reform Campaign

Jun 5, 2017

Indiana convenience stores want Hoosiers to hear directly from them on the need for changes to the state’s alcohol laws.

They’re launching an advocacy campaign that comes as lawmakers prepare to study alcohol laws this summer.

The campaign is called “Chill Indiana.” It’s led and funded by the state’s convenience store trade association. Executive director Scot Imus says the campaign’s exact plans are undecided. But he says it will use the most influential tool at the organization’s disposal: retailers’ relationships with customers.

“The convenience store industry sees thousands of customers and so we have the audience and we will certainly use those stores to reach that audience,” Imus says.

Chill Indiana released a public poll to coincide with its launch. The results show strong support for the kind of reforms convenience stores seek: allowing all retailers to sell cold beer and legalizing Sunday alcohol sales.

The effort is similar to past campaigns launched by the state’s grocery stores. Imus says the two groups have a shared interest with alcohol issues.

“I haven’t yet asked them for money. If they want to give, we won’t turn them down,” Imus says.

In a statement, the Indiana Beverage Retailers Association – which represents liquor stores – calls the campaign “well-intentioned,” but says it misses the point: that alcohol is dangerous and buying it shouldn’t be convenient.