SouthCoast Liquor Stores Putting Russian Vodka on Ice
As Ukrainian soldiers and citizens alike are doing their best to stand up to Russian invaders, some Americans are searching for ways to show support for the war-torn country.
Russian Vodkas Coming Off Store Shelves
Some liquor stores on the SouthCoast have decided to pull Russian vodka from their shelves while the conflict is happening. Representatives from Douglas Wine and Spirits in Fairhaven, North Providence and Attleboro, and Wines and More in Wareham told us Monday that until something changes, they will no longer be selling the Russian vodkas.
Dan Pellegrino is the vice president of business development for Wine and Spirit Retail Marketing.
"We're watching the news just like everyone else, and we're kind of dismayed at what we see. We figured we could do our own part. We'll take Russian vodka off the shelves, create some discussion, and show our support."
Confusion Over True Russian Vodkas
Pellegrino says the retail chains carry several brands of Russian vodka: Stolichnaya, Russian Standard, Hammer & Sickle, and Ruskova.
He says there can sometimes be some confusion about where Russian vodka is made.
"A lot of people believe many vodkas are Russian when they are not. For example, the Stolichnaya and Stoli are Latvian. Smirnoff is British-owned. There definitely is some misunderstanding of what is Russian vodka, but the true Russian vodkas we do have, we can point our customers in another direction."
Signage is being printed up and sent to each location to be displayed in the vodka section explaining the move. Social/digital graphics will be produced to advertise the local company's stance against the Russian invasion.
Does a Russian Vodka Boycott Really Help?
Mark Riley and his wife own four liquor stores across the SouthCoast: Top of the Hill Liquors, SouthCoast Wine and Spirits, Fairhaven Wine and Spirits, and Freitas Package Store. Riley says he talked about the idea of taking Russian vodka off the shelves but decided against it.
"The Russians already made their money when we bought it. Russia is not going to make one penny of it when I sell my stock. They already got their money. What does it really do? It's nothing. It's symbolism. But I don't have a problem going with symbolism if that's what people think I should do."