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On his way out at The Kroger Co., David Dillon is headed back to his native Kansas to lead another campaign on behalf of grocery retailers in the Sunflower State.
Dillon, who stepped down as Cincinnati-based Kroger's CEO a year ago and retired as its board chairman with the close of this calendar year, has been named chairman of Uncork Kansas, a group whose mission is to allow beer, wine and liquor sales in grocery stores, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported. Dillon's role will be to "raise awareness and elevate key messages" in Uncork Kansas' push to get the state's laws changed, according to a news release issued by the group.
About Consumer Choice
"With Dave's support during the upcoming session, Uncork Kansas will introduce legislation, which not only takes feedback from last year's campaign into consideration, but ultimately aims to expand consumer choice," Joe Grieshaber, president of Dillon Stores, Kroger's Kansas division, said in a news release. "We believe 2015 will be the year for Uncork Kansas legislation to be passed, allowing for consumer choice and free market for adult beverages. We are continuing to listen to our customers when they tell us they want the freedom to purchase a bottle of wine or craft beer with their groceries at Dillons."
A Kansas native, Dillon graduated from the University of Kansas and launched his grocery career at the family business, Dillon Cos., founded by his great-grandfather and acquired by Kroger in 1983. Dillon reportedly will move back to Kansas with his family by year's end.
Uncork Kansas is pushing state legislators to change laws that ban sales of alcohol other than 3.2 percent beer at grocery and convenience stores. Kansas consumers looking to buy regular beer, wine and spirits must do so at liquor stores. Kansas was the first state to constitutionally ban alcohol, in 1881 -- a ban that remained in effect until 1948, 15 years after Prohibition ended throughout the rest of the country.