Walmart on MLK approved for retail beer sales

Staff photo
Walmart Supercenter on Martin Luther King Boulevard began selling beer this month.

Another of Fayetteville’s Walmart stores was approved to begin selling beer this month, just 16 months after it was denied a permit to do so by the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control board.

ABC director Michael Langley granted a retail beer permit to the Walmart Supercenter on Martin Luther King Boulevard (formerly 6th Street) in mid-February, and the permit went into effect March 1.

The Walmart Neighborhood Market on Crossover Road and the Supercenter on Mall Avenue in Fayetteville were granted permission to begin selling beer and wine by the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in November 2009. The application for the Walmart Supercenter on MLK, however, was denied at the time.

Langley cited availability, traffic, and crime concerns in the area as the reason for the denial in 2009, but a lack of opposition from local law enforcement, and a good track record selling alcohol at other Fayetteville stores led to his decision to approve the MLK store application this time around. According to Langley, the only objection to the store’s application in February came from State Senator Sue Madison.

“They’ve proven themselves to be a good operator in regards to alcohol, and opposition was less vigorous this time,” said Langley. “I approved the application in an administrative hearing myself, and no one appealed the decision to the full board.”

That leaves Walmart on Campus as the only remaining Walmart store in Fayetteville that does not sell beer.

A Walmart spokesman did not return a phone call for comment on Tuesday, but a store employee told us this morning that beer sales began last week.