Giant starts wine sales at Enola store

Move comes prior to opening of new Weis location nearby

Roger DuPuis//February 15, 2017

Giant starts wine sales at Enola store

Move comes prior to opening of new Weis location nearby

Roger DuPuis//February 15, 2017

In addition to selling a variety of craft and domestic beer, shoppers at the Cumberland County-based chain’s Enola store, on Marketplace Way in Hampden Township, began seeing wine on sale last week, officials said Wednesday.

What else happened last week?

Competitor Weis Markets Inc. announced a March 9 opening for its new 65,000 square-foot Enola “flagship superstore,” across Valley Road from the Enola Giant, which opened in 2014.

The new Weis store will feature a food court, as well as the company’s first in-store pub, plus an adjoining café and in-store ice cream parlor. The pub and café will offer 900 domestic and craft beers, along with 500 varieties of wine.

Letting it flow

The expansion of alcohol sales is not a new trend for either chain.

A 2010 state Supreme Court ruling upheld supermarkets’ right to sell beer, including takeout, at in-store restaurants that meet certain specifications. Giant, Weis and Wegmans were among the chains that soon began exercising that right.

Giant’s first midstate location to offer beer was its Market Street location in York, in March 2012, becoming its third beer garden in Pennsylvania.

As of last month, the addition of beer gardens at three more stores, in Dauphin, Lancaster and York Counties, brought to 33 the number of Giant and sister-chain Martin’s stores offering beer in Pennsylvania.

Since last fall, Giant has steadily been adding wine to the mix.

Giant’s Mechanicsburg store on the Carlisle Pike was the chain’s first location to add wine to its beer garden back in September, following passage of the state’s liquor reform bill in August.

Weis followed soon after.

The Enola location brings the number of Giant and Martin’s offering wine to 32 in Pennsylvania.

Company officials said they will continue to evaluate locations for the addition of more beer/wine eateries.

“We know our customers are busy, so we wanted to give them another way to help them save time when shopping at our stores,” said Giant/Martin’s President Tom Lenkevich. “As most of our beer and wine wateries have a nice selection of wine available, our customers will enjoy finding the right wine to pair with our many food offerings.”

As that market expands, however, others have raised concerns about small businesses being pushed out of the competition for Pennsylvania’s limited number of liquor licenses.

Either way, it appears that Hampden Township consumers will soon have even more offerings when Enola’s dueling retailers begin facing off on either side of Valley Road.