Target is the best. And if it’s already the best, how could it possibly get better?
[Insert cocktails here.]
If you’ve stopped by Target for paper towels and walked out with a shopping cart full of strawberry-scented shaving cream, oodles of gummy fruit snacks, two decorative throw pillows, a lawn chair, a matching set of 12 Halloween plates you found in the dollar bin (score!), a ceramic coffee mug with an owl on it (but he has a mustache!) and a Sponge Bob pinata (for no particular reason), then you understand how bonkers it would be if Target served alcohol.
Can you image how insanely impulsive your purchases would be if you were sipping lemon sours during your stroll through the infinite sea of infinity scarves? As the millennials would say, “I literally can’t even.”
The rumor mill has been been buzzing about this story for the past few days and all sources seem to indicate it is, in fact, true. The merchandise behemoth that has more than 1,700 stores is opening a new one in Chicago near Navy Pier. It could be the first Target in the United States where you can grab Pampers and a glass of Pinot Grigio.
The word “could” is important, because this hasn’t happened quite yet, but it’s definitely in the works. According to city records, Target applied for a Consumption on Premises liquor license for its new Chi-Town location. It’s used for businesses like restaurants, hotels, theaters and bowling alleys that want to sell liquor as a secondary activity to their main business.
On that same day, Target also applied for a license to sell packaged liquor at the new store. Target already sells wine, beer and spirits in 1,300 of their stores, but they haven’t poured it in stylish glasses as part of their revenue stream yet.
Now just because they applied for the license to serve liquor — and we’re assuming they’ll get it — doesn’t necessarily mean they will have a full bar. Maybe they’ll serve beer and wine only. Maybe an in-store liquor concept won’t fly with consumers, so they might not roll it out in other cities.
But. What. If. They. Do.
Will the words, “Mixologist needed in aisle three,” echo routinely through the store intercom?
Will Uber set up hubs in Target parking lots so we can escape safely, rationalizing our spur-of-the-moment purchases during the chauffeured drive home?
Will a few strong martinis cause adults to have spontaneous LEGO building contests in the now gender-neutral toy aisles?
Obviously, this concept of groceries-n-stuff-meets-libations is working. In our little slice of Lake Travis we have The Buzz in Whole Foods at the Hill Country Galleria. The new H-E-B in Oaks at Lakeway will have a restaurant with a full bar. Plus, we can ease the stress of shopping for Lunchables with a glass of wine at all H-E-B stores in the Lake Travis area (and occasionally at Randalls).
There is an interesting side note to think about when it comes to Target serving alcohol in Austin and that would be legislation. Ah, yes. Laws.
Earlier in 2015, Wal-Mart sued the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) alleging they were in violation of the U.S. Constitution due to odd liquor laws that essentially let private companies own alcohol stores, but prohibit public companies from doing the same. Shocking, right?
Wal-Mart wants skin in the hard liquor game and they just might get some play. In late July, a federal judge denied TABC’s motion to dismiss the case saying TABC has not explained why the liquor ban does not violate the state’s constitution. Yowza! If the U.S. courts decide to tweak liquor laws in Texas, saloon doors may swiftly open or close for big box retailers competing in the booze business.
That being said, it certainly isn’t an outlandish idea for a store like Target to serve alcohol. The thing that makes it a wild notion is it’s Target. Target! We already know they can morph an otherwise responsible and thrifty shopper into an impulse-buying maniac at times. Imagine what they can do with vodka.
Would you like to see this bar concept at Target stores in the Lake Travis area?