Booze, aisle 3

Walmart sues Texas for the right to sell liquor, not just beer & wine

Walmart sues Texas for the right to sell liquor, not just beer & wine

liquor bottles lit
Fun craft project for when your liquor bottle is empty. Mumuxi/Amazon

Walmart is back for another round in its battle to win the right to sell liquor in Texas.

The chain filed a lawsuit on June 29 with the goal of being allowed to sell liquor at its 588 Walmart and Sam's Club locations statewide.

Walmart can sell beer and wine, and is the largest retailer of wine and beer in Texas.

But under Texas law, the company cannot obtain a permit to sell liquor. Walmart's suit says the law is discriminatory.

This is not Walmart's first lawsuit. In 2015, the company attempted to take its case to federal court, arguing that Texas' alcohol laws are discriminatory and unconstitutional. A federal judge sided with Walmart in 2018, but the TABC appealed that decision and won.

Walmart tried to take its case to the U.S. Supreme Court but in late 2020, the Supreme Court denied their appeal.

Walmart is now taking the case to the Texas court system, under state constitutional claims.

"Texas is the only state in the nation that allows private corporations to compete in the retail sale of spirits while prohibiting publicly traded companies from doing so," Walmart said in a news release.

Texas code favors smaller liquor stores and prohibits larger, publicly-traded companies like Walmart and Kroger from selling liquor. It also prohibits some privately-traded companies such as Tom Thumb and H-E-B, unless they have fewer than 35 shareholders.