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Binny’s Hits Legislative Roadblock In Indiana

April 21, 2016

Chicago-based Binny’s Beverage Depot has suspended its Indiana expansion plans following recent legislation blocking the retailer’s entry into the state. Backed by the state’s liquor store lobby and signed into law earlier this spring by Indiana governor Mike Pence, the new laws strengthen Indiana’s residency requirements for liquor retailers, requiring operators to have an established presence in the state for at least five years. Consequently, Binny’s has been forced to scrap plans for its first out-of-state store, which was set to open in Schererville, Indiana and had already received approval from the county, according to Binny’s CEO Michael Binstein.

“This is an example of corporate welfare at its worst, and an example of what happens when consumers are denied a free market and competition,” says Binstein, adding that the company is currently consulting with legal experts about the possibility of a federal lawsuit. “Indiana consumers are living in one of the most antiquated and anti-consumer environments for wine, spirits and beer, and retailers in the state are overcharging and under-delivering.”

Prior to the legislation, Binny’s planned to open a total of four stores in Indiana and had acquired a pair of state liquor licenses. In addition to the Schererville store, the retailer was eyeing outposts in Merrillville, Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana. Binny’s currently operates a total of 32 stores throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, as well as in Bloomington and Champaign in downstate Illinois.

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