Latest Alcohol Proposal Fails to Modernize Liquor System
Moving Wine-Only into Grocery Stores Will Cost Commonwealth Over $100 Million; Create Three Stop Shopping
Extending Hours of Operation on Groundhog Day Falls Short of Customer Convenience
Harrisburg, PA – Moving wine but not spirits into grocery stores will cost the Commonwealth millions in lost tax revenue and fails to provide consumers the convenience they demand, according to the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), which strongly opposes this aspect of the state budget deal.
As part of Pennsylvania’s budget deal approved today by the Senate, wine purchases will be allowed in grocery stores, while spirits sales would remain exclusively segregated in state stores. Due to a loss of foot traffic without a corresponding reduction in operating costs, the PLCB will go from an operating income of $111 million to an operating loss of between $21-$91 million, according to an economic analysis by the chief economist for the Distilled Spirits Council.
“If the state goes down this road, customers will be penalized and the state will lose millions of dollars,” said DISCUS Vice President David Wojnar. “Pennsylvanian consumers want convenience and a good selection of products at competitive prices – not segregated spirits that force them to make multiple shopping stops. Extending alcohol sales hours on Groundhog’s day is not the modernization that Pennsylvania consumers demand.
“Any new legal framework governing alcohol sales in Pennsylvania should be efficient, consumer-friendly and provide a level playing field for beer, wine and spirits. As more foot traffic goes from state liquor stores to grocery stores, spirit sales will suffer. And when the state loses millions in tax revenue, consumers will be left paying the tab,” added Wojnar.