Harrisburg, PA — A Pennsylvania State Senator from the Middle of the state has introduced Senate Bill 548 which adds a franchise system to the State’s current 600 plus Wine & Spirits stores.
Specifically, the legislation would direct the PLCB to create a franchise store system, contracting with up to 2,000 franchises by 2024 who will have the ability to sell wine and alcohol spirits in the state for consumption off premise.
“This legislation will maintain the over 600 PLCB retail outlets, retain the existing jobs and allow the PLCB to continue to control the wholesale distribution of spirits and wine,” Sen. Yaw said. “I believe this proposal builds off the incremental steps taken in Act 39 of 2016 to expand wine sales in the Commonwealth.”
Nearly 900 expanded wine permit license holders would also be able to sell alcohol spirits. Home distributors and other retailers would have the opportunity to apply for one of the remaining 1100 franchises.
Questions remain about how the States retail locations would stay profitable when the elected officials more than double the competition to the local state-run stores.
The question of retraining existing employees that could be furloughed when the competition is introduced has not been outlined or discussed at this point.
Part of the Senator’s logic for this expansion is that it allows for Pennsylvania consumers more locations to purchase alcohol conveniently. He noted that from a retail location perspective neighboring states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware would still have higher amounts of locations to purchase these products.
Yaw’s Bill would allow the State to expand convenience, improve the long-term, financial position of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and generate significant new revenues for the Commonwealth.
Under the bill, the PLCB will also be required to expand its distribution system to provide delivery only to off-premise licensees.
The legislation would establish what the Senator thinks is a more straightforward, more transparent and fairer markup regime for all products.
Senate Bill 548 has been sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for its consideration.
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