By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4)– In true New Year fashion, grocery stores across Colorado are saying out with the old and in with new. At least when it comes to getting rid of 3.2 beer and moving onto full-strength beer.

Mary and Bob Weingartner shop at the King Soopers in Erie, where they were met with some empty shelves on New Year’s Eve. That store is among those across Colorado restocking shelves.

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“It is going to save people a stop its going to be more convenient for many people,” Mary Weingartner said.

For years, supermarkets and convenience stores in Colorado have been limited to selling beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent, about half of what is available in a liquor store.

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“Probably going to help competition, get some lower prices maybe,” Bob Weingartner said.

Adam Williamson, a spokesperson with King Soopers, says while the rules are somewhat complicated… It mostly affects beer sales.

“Really since 1933, since prohibition, this is a huge change,” he said.

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What you will not see, unless a store has a particular type of license, is wine and malt liquor filling the shelves.

“The laws have it one a year and they shift and change as years progress. I think the thing to think about is we are paid to do what are customers want from us. As they want those things in their store, we will work hard to get that for them,” Williamson said.

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Despite concerns from small business owners across Colorado, state lawmakers approved the changes in 2016. After years of implementation, the changes take full effect starting January 1, 2019.

While customers say, convenience and cost are important they have also heard concerns from their neighbors.

“I’m sure Colorado will look out for the small business owners as well.” shopper James Ahmann said.

While the shelves may be stocked and ready to go at midnight on New Year’s Eve, sales cannot start until 8 a.m. on January 1.

LINK: Colorado.gov Explainer On Changes To Colorado Liquor Laws | Fact Sheet

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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