Three Fayetteville Walmart stores applied for permits to sell retail beer back in August and last week, Fayetteville’s Target store responded by submitting its own retail beer application to the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control board.
ABC director Michael Langley confirmed today that Target had submitted an application to sell retail beer in its Fayetteville store along with applications for Target stores in Ft. Smith and Little Rock.
Jana O’Leary, a spokesperson for Target also confirmed the retail beer application in all three locations. O’Leary said that the application to sell beer in the Fayetteville store comes in response to requests from consumers, though it is expected that Walmart’s decision to apply for the permit last month also contributed to the decision.
Langley said that he doesn’t expect to make a decision on the Target or the Walmart applications for a few months. “December will probably be the earliest any action will be taken on it,” Langley said.
“The only objection I’ve received (on the Walmart application) is from (Arkansas) Senator Sue Madision, and she generally objects to all retail permits not issued to liquor stores.” Langley said.
Madison said that she was not aware of the Target retail beer application and that she would issue a letter opposing the permit.
“I want to make it clear that I am not opposed to someone having a beer or a glass of wine or even a cocktail,” Madison said. “My concern with this is that it’s another outlet for minors to buy alcohol. It just makes it harder on law enforcement to police it and ultimately, it’s our children who could be harmed by this.”
Langley said that Target must place an ad in the newspaper, as well as post a notice on the storefront for 30 days to allow for public comment and comment from elected officials. If Langley denies the permit, it can be appealed by the applicant and will then be heard by the ABC board.
“If I don’t receive anything, the general practice is to approve it if they’ve met all the other qualifications that they are supposed to meet with their application,” Langley said. “I would expect that somebody will object and it will get turned down in December and be heard in January or February by the board.”