Kroger is wine ‘retailer of the year’… except in TN

News release from Kroger, Inc. (which, not coincidentally, is pushing legislation to legalize sale of wine in supermarkets):
NASHVILLE, Nov. 19, 2013 – Where’s the wine? You won’t find it in a Tennessee Kroger, even though the company recently was named Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2013 Retailer of the Year.

In Tennessee, Kroger and other retailers legally are unable to sell wine in their stores. Kroger is advocating for expanded customer options through the Red White and Food initiative, a grassroots effort to support legislation that would eventually allow Tennessee customers the convenience of purchasing wine at their local grocery store.

“We are honored to receive recognition from the experts at Wine Enthusiast; we also can’t help but see the irony in the No. 1 retailer’s not being able to sell wine in our Tennessee stores,” said Rick Going, Kroger’s president of the newly created Nashville Division. “More than 70 percent of Tennesseans want to buy wine where they shop for food, and we couldn’t agree more. We hope the Tennessee General Assembly will pass legislation to give Tennessee consumers the right to vote on wine sales for their communities.”

Wine Enthusiast selected Kroger for this recognition because of the company’s “dynamic growth, dedication to wine, ability to foresee trends and customer service,” the editors stated in a profile that can be viewed at http://www.winemag.com/Web-2013/2013-Retailer-of-the-Year-Kroger-Co/ or in the magazine on newsstands.

Wine Enthusiast has honored companies and individuals “whose vision has impacted the wine and spirits industries” with the Wine Star Awards annually since 2000. This is the first time Kroger has been honored by the magazine.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names, including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber’s Million Dollar Club.