Costco Win Shakes Up WA

After a cool $40 million and almost ten years of effort, Costco finally got their way last week via ballot measure in Washington state.

After years of working the legislature and courts, the Costco-sponsored Initiative 1183 which will privatize alcohol sales captured 60 percent of the votes. The company spent $22 million on ads this year alone.

The measure will shut down the state-owned liquor retail outlets and allow stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor, increasing the number of privately owned liquor stores from 328 to an estimated 1,400.

Public policy advocates, unions, law enforcement and many in the alcohol beverage industry were opposed to the measure.

Beer was taken out of the measure this year, but it will still have its impact. Wineries and now distillers will now be able to ship directly to retailers and it allows for volume discounts.