Online grocery shopping

Crystal Lalley, hiring and training coordinator with GrocerKey, shows an order at Woodman's on Madison's west side. Madison's City Council was unable to overturn Mayor Paul Soglin's veto of an ordinance allowing curbside pick-up of online alcohol sales Tuesday. 

Mayor Paul Soglin’s veto of an ordinance that would allow curbside pickup of alcohol to customers who order online will stand after the Madison City Council lacked the votes to overturn it.

Soglin also vetoed “click and collect” licenses for the Walmart on Nakoosa Trail and the Pick ‘n’ Save, owned by Roundy’s, on Junction Road, which the Council was also unable to override Tuesday. The Council needed 14 to overturn a mayoral veto and could summon just 12.

Alds. Rebecca Kemble, District 18; Sheri Carter, District 14; Samba Baldeh, District 17; and Paul Skidmore, District 9; voted against overriding the mayor’s veto. With four alders absent from the meeting, including sponsoring Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, it is likely the Council will have another opportunity to override the veto.

Under the ordinance, retailers that want to include alcohol in their online sales would apply for an extension of their licensed premises to include a designated area outside the store where customers can pick up their online orders.

Retailers argue the “click and collect” sales of alcohol increases convenience for their customers and aligns with the online grocery trend. However, Soglin doesn’t make much of the innovation.

“Since the invention of the telephone, anyone could phone, subsequently fax and later use the internet to place an order for liquor which they can then pick up,” Soglin said. “The only thing that’s changed is not the technology, but it’s the fact that the individual in the circumstances provided in these ordinances does not have to get out of their car and go in to the brightness of the store to complete the transaction.”

Soglin has argued it is safer for the transaction to be completed within the establishment. Additionally, Soglin said during Tuesday’s meeting that the ordinance would also provide benefits to some retailers and not others.

“The way the ordinance is structured … is going to give a competitive advantage to larger stores with larger parking facilities and put a considerable disadvantage to small stores without parking facilities,” Soglin said.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.