Walmart Shoppers Sip Wine While They Shop: Stirring Questions on Store Policies

If you’ve ever found yourself dreading the mundane task of running errands or braving the crowded aisles of Walmart, there’s a video uploader who might just have the perfect remedy to turn it into a lively girls’ night out, all while checking off your to-do list.

But the burning question on everyone’s mind is this: Is it permissible to uncork a bottle of wine and indulge while you shop?

Aisles Drinking & Shopping

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Photo Credit: Tomas Urbelionis/Shutterstock.

In a retail escapade that left 250,000 viewers intrigued and Walmart shoppers divided, a social media enthusiast boldly documented an unconventional shopping experience. The video’s caption reads:

“A time was had in Walmart. Yes, we opened wine & shopped while sipping. & yes, we paid for it at checkout lol.”

The footage captures a woman casually pouring an open bottle of Barefoot wine into a red cup while her friends sip on the beverage during their shopping spree.

While this shopping adventure might sound like a dream come true for some, it has raised questions about store policies, legality, and the uncharted territory of wine-filled carts.

Walmart’s Booze Policy

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Image Credit: Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.

Before diving into the controversy, it’s important to note that unless you’re shopping in specific states—Alaska, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, or Utah—you can typically purchase liquor at any Walmart location. These states have unique regulations governing alcohol sales.

Liquor in Retail Stores

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Image Credit:nikitos1977/DepositPhotos.

The video uploader’s situation is unique because it involves alcohol consumption. The Beer Exchange states that openly drinking alcohol within a Walmart or its grocery area is illegal and prohibited.

However, enjoying a drink outside the store’s doors, in the parking lot, or in other designated areas is typically acceptable.

In Legal Terms: Is It Legal To Eat & Drink Before Paying?

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Image Credit: Savvatexture/Deposit Photos.

According to lawyer Betty Wang, JD ², ownership of a product or item is legally established only upon payment. Customers need to settle the bill to have the right to use the thing for its intended purpose. Before payment, the product remains the property of the store. Proof of ownership is typically represented by a cash receipt confirming the transaction.

The pivotal factor lies in whether the shopper eventually pays for already-consumed items, with the type of product consumed also playing a role.

Products sold at fixed prices, like bags of chips, generally allow for more flexibility. Customers who snack while shopping but ultimately pay for the items at checkout typically avoid legal repercussions.

Conversely, items priced by weight, such as produce, candies, and dried goods, present legal concerns. Customers are legally obliged to pay for the precise quantity they’ve taken from the store. Failure to do so constitutes a legal violation, akin to theft, as the customer still needs to fulfill their financial obligation for the consumed goods.

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Sources

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Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. medium.com/@annageldi84/is-it-possible-to-eat-and-drink-before-paying-for-the-goods-in-the-store-d08dd18eec38
  2. findlaw.com/legalblogs/law-and-life/is-it-legal-to-open-bags-eat-food-in-stores/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. It was inspired by this video:

@vonnasosolid1 A time was had in Walmart. Yes, we opened wine & shopped while sipping. & yes we paid for it at checkout lol. #FYP #ForYouPage #Trend ♬ Touch My Body – Mariah Carey

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.