This might seem like an obvious question, but there are a lot of complexities when it comes to the sale of alcohol at Walmart. In fact, all grocery stores are subject to state and regional laws governing the sale of beer, wine, and liquor. So, to find out all the ins and outs of alcohol sales at your local Walmart, keep reading.
As one of the largest retailers of food and beverages in the world, it probably comes as no surprise that Walmart sells alcohol.
But there are a few caveats to note here due to the fact that different states have different laws and regulations governing the sale of alcohol.
While Walmart as a company is a massive retail distributor of alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor, not all Walmart stores are legally allowed to supply alcohol to customers.
For example, Walmart stores in Utah are infamous for not selling alcohol because it is illegal for any grocery stores to sell alcohol in that state. Several other states have similar laws, which Walmart abides by.
To give a simpler answer to the question, Walmart sells alcohol in every state, except for:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
These states firmly disallow the sale of alcoholic beverages in grocery stores or non-state liquor stores.
In some other states, such as North Dakota, Walmart has resorted to opening separate retail locations called Walmart Liquor Stores where they can legally supply alcohol to customers.
What Kinds Of Alcohol Does Walmart Sell?
Depending on where the Walmart store is located, this major retailer sells just about every kind of alcohol, including beer, wine, and distilled spirits (liquor).
However, due to state and regional regulations, only some Walmart stores are legally allowed to sell liquor. In some states, Walmart is only allowed to sell beer and wine, while in other states, they can’t legally sell any alcohol.
To give you an idea of what to expect at your local Walmart, let’s look at a few facts.
The following states allow liquor sales in grocery stores (including Walmart):
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
In these states, it can be assumed that Walmart is also legally allowed to sell beer and wine. If your state is not on this list, then you won’t be able to buy liquor at Walmart, but you might still be able to buy beer and wine…
…unless you live in one of the following states:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
Who Can Buy Alcohol At Walmart?
As a rule, shoppers must be 21 years of age or older to legally purchase alcohol.
However, there are a small handful of exceptions to this rule.
The following states allow shoppers to legally purchase alcohol at just 18 years of age:
- South Dakota
Remember that even if you are of age, you are still legally required to provide identification if asked when purchasing alcohol. This means that shoppers purchasing alcohol at Walmart will be denied the sale of alcohol if they are asked for ID and cannot provide one. This applies even to shoppers who are obviously over the age of 21.
What Is Walmart’s Policy During Self-Checkout?
Buying alcohol from Walmart is just as easy as buying anything else. This means that you can still use the self checkout to purchase alcohol.
When you use a self checkout kiosk to purchase alcohol at Walmart, your transaction will be flagged when you scan your alcohol barcode. An employee will see that your transaction needs approval and come over to assist you. To approve your transaction, the employee will most likely ask to see your identification. If they feel that your ID looks real, valid, and like you, then your transaction will be approved and you can finish your checkout process.
Walmart’s Alcohol Delivery Services
When purchasing alcohol through Walmart.com, you’ll have to make sure that you live in a state where this is legal. You’ll also have to be prepared to show a valid ID when the delivery worker shows up to drop off your groceries. If you can’t show a valid ID, your entire order will be returned and refunded.
Walmart.com has the following to say about the sale of alcohol through their website:
“We’ll remove alcohol from your order if you:
- -Are under 21 years of age
- -Can’t show a valid government-issued photo ID (for delivery and pickup orders)
- -Delivery: We’ll return your entire order to the store if you can’t show a valid photo ID.
- -Pickup: We’ll remove the alcohol from your order if you can’t show a valid photo ID.
- -Appear intoxicated
- -Appear to be giving alcohol to someone under 21
Some state/local laws prohibit the sale of alcohol during certain business hours.
If you include alcohol in your online order, we’ll restrict the available timeslots to times that allow the sale of alcohol.”
Alcohol Prices At Walmart
The prices of alcohol at Walmart can vary a lot depending on which state you live in.
Some states control alcohol prices, for example, making it hard for Walmart to offer competitive prices.
However, if you live in a “non-control state” like Washington State, for example, and if your local Walmart sells alcohol, then it’s very likely that you’ll be able to find your favorite big-name booze for a bit cheaper than you’d find it elsewhere.
To give an example, a 750mL bottle of Jack Daniels is currently priced at $20.98 on Walmart.com compared to $24.99 at Safeway.
What Time Does Walmart Sell Alcohol?
The times that Walmart is legally allowed to sell alcohol vary state to state.
In some states, Walmart can sell alcohol at any time during opening hours. However, in other states, such as South Carolina, Walmart has to stop selling alcohol as early as 7pm to be in accordance with state law.
Some states also restrict the sale of alcohol on Sundays, which Walmart also has to cooperate with.
Can You Return Alcohol To Walmart?
Returning alcohol to Walmart is definitely possible, but the policy governing this is pretty strict.
To return alcohol to Walmart, the container must be unopened and you must return it with your original purchase receipt to the store you purchased it from directly.
Alcohol purchases cannot be returned through the mail, and they cannot be returned if they have been opened, consumed, or tampered with in any way. Walmart also will not accept alcohol returns without a receipt.
Does Walmart sell alcohol on Sundays?
Yes, for the most part. However, the following states legally prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays: Montana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Does Walmart sell alcohol test strips?
Yes. You can browse alcohol test strips on Walmart.com.
Are there age restrictions for buying alcohol at Walmart?
Yes. Walmart adheres to all state and federal laws, meaning that in most states, you must be 21 years old or older to purchase alcohol at Walmart.
Does Walmart sell alcohol on Christmas?
Yes. If you live in a state where Walmart is allowed to sell alcohol, then you will still be able to purchase alcohol at Walmart on Christmas. The hours during which you can purchase your alcohol, however, might be limited.
The simple answer to the question that brought us here is–yes! Walmart absolutely sells alcohol. However, as you can see, it’s quite a bit more complicated than that. Whether or not Walmart sells alcohol depends entirely on where you live and how the laws in your state govern the sale of alcohol. Even though prohibition is over, alcohol sales are still heavily regulated by state law, and Walmart has to abide by all of these regulations.