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Changes coming in alcohol sales in WA?


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#16 Lauren

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 05:11 PM



If 1100 passes you can say good-bye to roughly 30-40% of the floor space in your favorite wine shop to hard liquor. This means that 2 out 5 of your favorite wines will probably be no longer available at your store. And this will occur across all stores. So unless you're drinking the high volume wine (two-buck-chuck) or the big profit wine (DRC) this will have an impact on your wine purchases. If it's a choice between a $6 profit on some 'cult' Oregon Pinot Noir or $20 profit on some random vodka, it's a no brainer to the store owner.


I just don't see this happening. De Laurenti's and Pike & Western are going to give over huge floor space to boooze? Why would they when they've cultivated a clientele that shops there for interesting wines? I see your point, but would they rather sell a single bottle of vodka or a mixed case to a long-time customer? Wine shops are going to be wine shops. Will small wineries lose shelf space in grocery stores? Probably, but that's been shrinking with the economy anyways.

In this economy, and if I were the owner of either De Laurenti's or Pike & Western, I would definitely bring in higher profit booze. I would especially bring it in to due to the high tourist volume.

I don't think the small wineries have that much presence in grocery stores. And I'm not as concerned with how 1100/1105 would affect grocery stores because of the small space they currently have for wine/beer compared to their total square footage. They can knock out half an aisle of cards, wrapping paper, and balloons and relegate it to an end cap with no loss of that business and not affect their wine/beer inventory.


Based on my experience shopping for elusive (to WA) booze in California - the stuff that I am looking for is usually found at the specialty wineries. But, except for one or two of the most popular spots, it's found behind the counter - taking up a small linear footage. But I see what you are saying.
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#17 Rail Paul

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 05:45 PM

Will booze necessarily still be "high profit" when many dealers are competing to sell it? Or will the dealers drop prices to gain more market share? They may find that they can make more money by selling hard to get specialty wines at full price than mass market Scotch at a steep discount.

In PA, the state stores charge the same price in rural Emporium as in downtown Philadelphia for a bottle of Jack Daniels. The state employee clerks make the same base pay, with adjustments for various costs of living, or so I''m told.

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#18 tighe

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 06:34 PM

Will booze necessarily still be "high profit" when many dealers are competing to sell it? Or will the dealers drop prices to gain more market share? They may find that they can make more money by selling hard to get specialty wines at full price than mass market Scotch at a steep discount.

In PA, the state stores charge the same price in rural Emporium as in downtown Philadelphia for a bottle of Jack Daniels. The state employee clerks make the same base pay, with adjustments for various costs of living, or so I''m told.


Under the current system, the state fixes the retail price of booze, in addition to what brands can be sold. One of the arguments for the initiative is that prices will, in fact, come down. I've seen cases both ways though.

I may well be proven wrong, but I just don't see wine shops who have established their 'brand' based on a wine selection of interesting wines are going to give over a significant chunk of their space to booze. It just doesn't make any kind of business sense in the longer term.
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#19 Rail Paul

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:11 PM


Will booze necessarily still be "high profit" when many dealers are competing to sell it? Or will the dealers drop prices to gain more market share? They may find that they can make more money by selling hard to get specialty wines at full price than mass market Scotch at a steep discount.

In PA, the state stores charge the same price in rural Emporium as in downtown Philadelphia for a bottle of Jack Daniels. The state employee clerks make the same base pay, with adjustments for various costs of living, or so I''m told.


Under the current system, the state fixes the retail price of booze, in addition to what brands can be sold. One of the arguments for the initiative is that prices will, in fact, come down. I've seen cases both ways though.

I may well be proven wrong, but I just don't see wine shops who have established their 'brand' based on a wine selection of interesting wines are going to give over a significant chunk of their space to booze. It just doesn't make any kind of business sense in the longer term.


Costco has litigated in NJ on the subject of "how little can you charge". Under NJ rules, the wholesalers set the price for distributors and distributors / retailers can mark it up from there. They can't sell for less than the wholesale price, although they can sell for a penny more. Or $20 more, if they can.

The smaller retailers and wholesalers defend the current policy, while Costco and several buying co-operatives want to be able to buy directly from Gallo, Brown Foreman, cutting out the wholesalers.

In my area, Costco will always match the lowest on sale price of any other booze retailer on its posted price for dozens of popular items.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#20 tsquare

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:31 PM

I noticed Trader Joe's Cap Hill expanded its wine floor area recently - thinking they are preparing for liquor sales?

#21 Lauren

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 09:05 PM

Another interesting article.

I like this comment

I'll be voting for I-1000 primarily because I like good Whiskey almost as much as I like good cab, and I'd like to be able to buy it from someone who could actually teach me thing or two.


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#22 Really Nice!

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:19 AM

Just got a long and verbose e-mail from Richard Kinssies, owner of the three Wine Outlet stores in the area.

Key points from the e-mail: "I'm voting no on both 1100 and 1105 and urge you to do the same."
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"There are three entities looking to prevail in this ongoing donnybrook and each one is a little bit right and a lot wrong. And make no mistake; none of these entities have your best interest in mind."
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#23 malarkey

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 03:02 AM

This whole thing has been interesting for me to watch from afar... now that I'm in an "uncontrolled" state. I'm not putting myself out there as an expert in all the nuances and after affects of these type of laws, all I can tell you is my own experience now that I'm living in what is my first uncontrolled state.

First, from what I've read, there are only 19(?) controlled states left out of 50. Second, my experience buying wine & liquor in TX is that the prices are anywhere from $3-4 to maybe as high as $10 less than in WA. NOT the 50 something percent claimed by one side of the argument. BUT that's for the things I buy. The big discount might show up for 1 or 2 things I buy, but not the majority. My take on that is that the money has to go somewhere, and it ain't going to the consumer, end of story.

Variety? I can actually get everything I could get in WA and more. Sure, it might be harder to find some of the smaller producers, I'll concede that, but my buying habits don't hinge on small producer availability for the most part. I won't address the interstate shipping issues that have surfaced the past few years.

All I can say is when I entered the largest Spec's in Texas my mouth stayed open the whole time. I'm talking ACRES of liquor AND wine. And, across the street from that is yet another ginormous warehouse just for wine storage. In-frickin-credible.

I think there's ups and downs to both systems. I actually don't have a problem with states making money off of "sin" taxes, alcohol, tobacco, etc. Hey, it's a great way to make money. Why not legalize all drugs and tax them? pay off the deficit in NO time!
I'm looking forward to regretting this.

#24 Rail Paul

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:32 AM

Wine Spectator has a follow up article following the defeat of the ballot initiatives.

They see the wholesalers gearing up support for HR5034, a bill in the US House, which would lock in the three tier system of producer, wholesaler, and retailer. It would indirectly place a number of limits on any winery seeking to ship its products across state lines, they say.

As currently written, 5034 would require any winery seeking to ship wines into a state to go through registration, and sell through a local retailer in the target state. It would also deny local residents the legal standing to challenge laws on alcohol imports.

Wholesalers' next target is the nation's capitol. They’ve pushed Congress to pass House Resolution 5034, the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010, since its introduction in April. Opponents of HR 5034, including many wineries, retailers and wine lovers, claim the bill is an attempt by the wholesalers to protect their turf. “The wholesalers would like to have protected territories and as little competition as possible,” said Keith Wollenberg, a buyer at K&L Wines in California. “This bill can only serve to raise prices and reduce choices of what wines you get to drink.”


“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#25 Really Nice!

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:33 PM

Well we're at it again under number 1183...

All the hot topics aside, I'm still going with no for the same reasons I posted at mile marker 9. If it passes:

You can say good-bye to roughly 30-40% of the floor space in your favorite wine shop to hard liquor. I have several favorite wine stores across two counties who carry, or are willing to go the extra step to obtain, a wine that I'm interested in buying. I've talked to the managers of all and all have said there would be changes to the wines dedicated to their floor space if they can sell the hard stuff.

The small wineries in this state will be squeezed out. Quite a few have already closed up due to the economy, this makes it tougher for them to stay in business. And many out-of-state wineries will no longer have a market here.

The 10,000 sq. ft. rule means that within 2 blocks I'll have a Walgreen's, Bartell's, Target, and J.C. Penny considering the option to sell the hard stuff. There are enough drunks in my neighborhood and I don't need a magnet to bring more in.

#26 Lauren

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:38 PM

...
The 10,000 sq. ft. rule means that within 2 blocks I'll have a Walgreen's, Bartell's, Target, and J.C. Penny considering the option to sell the hard stuff.
...


J.C. Penney? Where would they put it, next to their Lee Jeans rack? :lol:
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#27 Really Nice!

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:52 PM

J.C. Penney? Where would they put it, next to their Lee Jeans rack? :lol:

They're going in the top 2 floors of the Kress building on 3rd between Pike and Union.

It's scheduled to open on March 1, 2012, but I haven't seen a bit of construction on the site yet.

#28 malarkey

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 03:40 AM

So, my friend Kathy is affected by this change of laws. As a state employee (liquor store mgr 20+ yrs) she's out of a job by end of May (although they told her transition may take till end of June) and then she's outta there! She has an interesting take on the whole thing, from a business/high overview perspective, and from a personal perspective.

1. She hates Costco.
2. She's moving to the sunny southwest as soon as she sells her house and her job is done.
3. She was hoping this would happen.

LOL
I'm looking forward to regretting this.

#29 Rail Paul

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

So, my friend Kathy is affected by this change of laws. As a state employee (liquor store mgr 20+ yrs) she's out of a job by end of May (although they told her transition may take till end of June) and then she's outta there! She has an interesting take on the whole thing, from a business/high overview perspective, and from a personal perspective.

1. She hates Costco.
2. She's moving to the sunny southwest as soon as she sells her house and her job is done.
3. She was hoping this would happen.

LOL


It sounds like your friend will make out OK. Similar noises are happening again in Pennsylvania, where the state employees who run the state liquor stores face another effort to sell off the stores. In many cases (!), these are the best jobs in small towns, etc

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#30 Really Nice!

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:51 PM

So, my friend Kathy is affected by this change of laws. As a state employee (liquor store mgr 20+ yrs) she's out of a job by end of May (although they told her transition may take till end of June) and then she's outta there!

Supposedly, Jeffrey Brotman, chairman and CEO of Costco, is offering every state liquor employee an interview with Costco as they ramp up for the July 1 deadline.