Governor Wolf Buys Wegmans’ First Bottle of Wine to Go in Pennsylvania, Celebrates Additional Consumer Convenience Under Act 39 Liquor Reforms
September 01, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf joined Wegmans executives and others to toast sales of wine to go, which began this morning at the Mechanicsburg Wegmans located at 6416 Carlisle Pike.
“As I have always said, my goal is to modernize the sale of liquor, wine, and beer in order to bring Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits system into the 21st Century,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I applaud the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and Wegmans for working together to enhance the customer experience by providing greater convenience and satisfaction to the people of central Pennsylvania.
“From large grocery chains like Wegmans and Giant Eagle to sub shops like Super Sub & Six Pak in Dubois, and from specialty restaurants like Winedown Café in West Reading to bottle shops like Below Deck inside the Boat House in Conshohocken, additional access and convenience are popping up all across Pennsylvania, just within the last couple of weeks.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the PLCB had received 243 requests for wine expanded permits authorizing the sale of wine to go, and it had issued 120.
The Mechanicsburg Wegmans is the first of 17 Pennsylvania Wegmans stores to begin selling wine to go, and it is anticipated all Wegmans locations in Pennsylvania will offer a robust selection of hundreds of wines at various prices this fall. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 90-store supermarket chain with locations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
Wegmans and the PLCB initially met in early August so both organizations could begin to collaboratively plan and develop the processes for a system-wide roll out of wine to go at Wegmans stores across Pennsylvania. A limited pilot program – intended to test and refine processes for forecasting product needs, planning replenishment orders, and delivering wine from a PLCB distribution center directly to the store – was developed for the Mechanicsburg Wegmans location.
On August 26, Wegmans submitted its first order through the PLCB’s Licensee Online Order Portal (LOOP), an Internet-based system that allows licensees to order wine and spirits at any time from home or office. Wegmans received its wine expanded permit on Monday, August 29, then received its first wine delivery directly from a PLCB distribution center yesterday at the Mechanicsburg store.
“This pilot program with Wegmans promises to be very successful, and as we continue discussions with a number of large chain retailers interested in selling wine to go, we will be encouraging development of similar, limited pilot programs to ensure successful broad-scale roll-outs,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden at today’s event. “Wegmans’ introduction of wine-to-go sales is the culmination of great teamwork and collaboration, and the PLCB is ready and eager to achieve similar success with many more wine-to-go retailers across Pennsylvania.”
Recognizing consumers’ interest in buying local and the significant impact that Pennsylvania wines and spirits have on Pennsylvania’s agriculture and tourism industries, Wegmans’ initial wine offerings include wines from Pennsylvania wineries Moon Dancer Winery, Cider House, and Tap Room in York County and Nissley Vineyards & Winery in Lancaster County.
“Not only do these liquor reforms give our homegrown winemakers more retail outlets where they can sell their wines, but under Act 39, Pennsylvania wineries, distilleries, and breweries can also now sell each other’s products, said Governor Wolf. “This will allow them to offer more variety to consumers, appeal to new customers, and grow their businesses and local economies.”
Following a Champagne toast to wine-to-go sales at Wegmans, Governor Wolf perused the Mechanicsburg store’s wine and beer selections, purchasing the first bottle of wine sold there under its new wine-to-go license.
“Today’s celebration is a testament to the tremendous potential of public-private partnerships, illustrating that government can in fact be professional, responsive, and helpful business partners to the private sector,” said Governor Wolf. “The PLCB has achieved a great deal in a very short period of time, and they are to be commended for the fast thinking and thoughtful problem-solving that has enabled today’s celebration and the overall transformation of the beverage alcohol industry in Pennsylvania that will continue for months and years to come.”
Additional liquor reforms introduced earlier this month include expanded Sunday hours and the sale of Pennsylvania Lottery tickets at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and dramatically expanded direct wine shipping options for Pennsylvania residents.
In coming months, the PLCB will explore customer loyalty programs, pricing flexibility, a new special liquor order portal and the auction of expired restaurant licenses authorized by Act 39.