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The surveillance video from the Liberty Lake Safeway store is crystal clear. A thief walks into the liquor aisle, glances over his shoulder, grabs a bottle of liquor and casually raises his baggy jacket to slip it into his waistband. He paces up and down the aisle a bit, then does it again. And again. He occasionally jiggles in place to make sure the bottles are staying put. When he’s done, there are no visible bulges to alert staff that several bottles of alcohol are about to walk out the door.
Fans and critics of the 2012 law that allowed private firms to take over liquor sales can agree on one thing: Like it or not, Washington’s retail spirits industry is heading in the direction of the hard-fought, highly competitive liquor landscape consumers have in California. Six months after Initiative 1183 went into effect, many in Washington’s liquor industry say consumers will continue seeing competitive pricing, more marketing from out-of-state large chains entering the picture, and increased focus by small retailers on customer service and convenience.
If Washington voters thought that letting private retailers take over liquor sales would make life simpler, they might have been wrong. Come Friday, prices for thousands of different libations will vary from store to store, and customers hunting for the best deal will need a calculator to learn whether they’re getting a bargain.
A masked man robbed several cashiers at knife point at the Safeway on Northwest Boulevard this evening. Witnesses said the man put a knife to at least two cashiers’ throats and demanded money before fleeing north down Maple Street on foot.
OLYMPIA – This year’s ballot measure to get state government out of the liquor business is shaping up to be another multimillion-dollar fight that will pit one of Washington’s largest retailers against alcohol wholesalers. Also taking sides will be the state’s grocery stores, with some big national chains such as Safeway backing the proposal and some regional chains like Rosauers working against it.
The empty Safeway supermarket on West Third in Spokane will reopen this fall as a Grocery Outlet store.
For Dillon Fabie, there was no decision to be made. Just an adrenaline rush and a quick sprint across a parking lot and there he was, restraining a suspected purse thief as police arrived. “Instincts took over,” Fabie, 21, said Monday as he recalled taking the man to the ground in the north Spokane Walmart supercenter parking lot last November. “The next thing I know I’m all the way back here holding the guy.”