Simultaneously shopping for turkey bacon, novelty underwear, and a Director's Cut DVD of Space Jam may soon be a whole lot more fun than it already is. On top of the usual joys of consumerism, you might be able to sip on wine, crush beers, or maybe even down a cocktail while perusing America's favorite big-box, red-and-white megamarket: Target.
A Target (or "tar-zhay" if you prefer) in Chicago has just applied for two liquor licenses, one of which is a "Consumption on Premises" license (the other is just a standard "Package Goods" license to be able to sell beer and wine). This means that pretty soon, you could have the option of getting loaded before, during, or after filling your cart with glorious miscellany.
Although neither license has been approved by the city as of yet, they reflect the growing consumer trend of previously booze-free chains and supermarkets—such as Taco Bell and Starbucks—aiming to capitalize off the potential income from drink-happy customers. That includes grocery stores, too: a Whole Foods market in Pasadena, CA, has a full wine and cheese bar, while a Ralph's in Downtown Los Angeles recently added its own on-site watering hole.
The 24,000-square-foot Target store in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood was originally declared to be one of their smaller rebranded "Target Express" store formats, which were designed to appeal to urban shoppers, as compared to their average-sized 135,000-square-feet traditional Target market facilities. But earlier this month, the $53.5 billion company decided to drop the "Express" and give the comparatively bite-sized store the usual moniker.
It is still unclear if this license will enable Chicago customers to pound drinks while pushing around shopping carts and making impulse purchases such as One Direction "Pillow Buddies". (A Target representative did not return a request for comment.) But there's also the possibility that the license, if granted, will only allow for a designated bar area where tired shoppers can recharge (or fuel up). One thing is for sure: Americans seem keen on getting wasted even while running relatively mundane errands.
But on a larger scale, Americans are just drinking more alcohol nowadays, as shown in recent studies about the growing booze intake of women and the domestic trend toward higher-proof brews. Hell, you may soon even be able to legally get high while eating in some restaurants in Denver.
What's next? We vote for bars in dentist offices. Sometimes you've just got to take the edge off.