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Walmart jumps even deeper into beer & wine samples in its Miami Valley stores

**UPDATE**

Walmart last week applied for liquor licenses that would allow for beer and wine sampling at 35 MORE stores across Ohio, including a dozen more in the greater Miami Valley. 

The nation’s largest retailer applied for licenses to offer samples of beer and wine to customers in stores in Huber Heights, Xenia, Sugarcreek Twp. (Sugarcreek Plaza), Lebanon, Middletown, Fairfield Twp. near Hamilton, Washington Court House, Bellefontaine, Wilmington, Celina, Wapakoneta and St. Paris.

The filings bring to 79 the number of such Walmart applications statewide. And also last week, the Ohio Division of LIquor Control issued a wine and beer tastings permit to the Walmart store in Franklin in Warren County.

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Walmart wants to offer samples of beer and wine to its customers throughout the state, including at least a half-dozen of its stores in the Miami Valley.

In a two-day span Nov. 21-22, Walmart filed applications with the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control on behalf of 36 of its stores statewide for the license that would allow those stores to serve samples of beer and wine in its retail stores. A Walmart spokesman said the samples would be part of in-store demonstrations. 

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The wave of new filings brings to 47 the total number of Walmart tasting-license applications that are now listed as “pending” review and potential approval in Ohio. That’s more than half of the total number of “pending” applications from all license holders in the state.

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Walmart wants to offer samples of beer and wine to its customers throughout the state, including at least a half-dozen of its stores in the Miami Valley. File photo by Ty Greenlees (Staff Writer)

Applications were filed last week for the following stores in the greater Miami Valley: Miami Twp. behind the Dayton Mall, Butler Twp. near the Miller Lane restaurant row, in Piqua, in Franklin, and in Greenville. Walmart’s Hoke Road store in Englewood also has a tasting license pending, apparently from an earlier application, according to Ohio Division of Liquor Control records.

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Several area grocers — including many Kroger stores, all Dorothy Lane Market stores, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods — have the licenses that allow them to host wine-tastings and beer tastings, and otherwise offer samples of those beverages to customers. Walmart apparently wants to join that roster.

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Here’s what a spokesman for Walmart’s Ohio stores said about the license applications:

“Walmart has applied for licenses to offer demonstrations at stores throughout Ohio. Walmart is hopeful to get approval by the end of the year or early 2018. 

“While this is new to Walmarts in Ohio, it's something that has been offered to customers in a handful of states, including Michigan. Walmart found customers like this opportunity to shop and discover new products.”

The spokesman said some Sam's Club stores, which share corporate ownership with Walmart stores, already offer demonstrations and tastings in Ohio.

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