Monday, March 25, 2019

And the winner is...Everybody but Pennsylvania.

Nice to know that the second largest wine retailer in the U.S. (at the moment) only influences a captive monopoly citizenry and nothing else.

Yeah, the PLCB keeps talking "world-class" and walking "second rate." That's certainly the impression you get from's annual list of the top 100 influencers in wine: not one PLCB employee is among them. Numerous other people in retailers like K&L (California) Total Wine (soon to be the #2 retailer ahead of the PLCB) and Costco (currently #1) made the cut. The list includes Masters of Wine (none in the PLCB - ever), winners of  the James Beard Foundation medal for the nation’s outstanding wine and spirits professional (none in the PLCB - ever), Members of the Guild of Sommeliers (none in the PLCB - ever) and innovators from across the country (none in the PLCB - ever...and no, the wine kiosks don't count).
I was part of the Livestock, Dairy,
and Poultry subcommittee. Of course
I'm qualified to be in charge of liquor!
No, Pewnnsylvania gets brainstorms like "A consortium of control states all buying from the PLCB", Wine Kiosks (never forget!!), using buying power to raise prices instead of lower them, and hiring a probation officer to run the whole operation. Just what are those free states thinking with their convenience, selection, and real certified professionals working to expand the boundaries in wine? Fools. They could be selling their customers wine that didn't make the cut in the real world like the PLCB does, and positioning it as some sort of benefit.

Just more examples of how the PLCB can never lead, never bring the citizens of the Commonwealth the same standard that the majority of people in the US enjoy. Just because mediocrity is well lit does not make it what the people want or deserve. People need government to regulate the safety of products, to make sure they aren't abused by things beyond their control, and to insure clean water and air.

They don't need government to decide what wine they're allowed to buy.



Anonymous said...

What has been the impact of the sale of wine in the grocery stores on PLCB sales?

Lew Bryson said...

Good question. We'll try to run that down.

Albert Brooks said...

Do you have anything in particular you are looking for? In store sales have decreased over all and total units have increased . What other impacts are you thinking of?

Anonymous said...

I was curious if it was impacting the shelf space allocation or if they were shifting emphasis/marketing to focus on spirits. Also, they have never treated licensees fairly or with respect and was curious if that extended to the grocery stores.

Albert Brooks said...

AFAIK, space allocation hasn't changed but from the 5 or so stores I look at with any frequency there does seem to be less items stacked out and at the shelf ends. There hasn't been any change in emphasis that I am aware of but the blog doesn't have spies everywhere.

As for how well the extended permit licenses are treated the nearest thing I have about that is a large number don't trust the PLCB delivery service to get their orders right and it is easier to straighten things out if they pick up the order instead of having it delivered. I would say since the culture hasn't changed I doubt the way they treat licensees in general has changed.

Anonymous said...

They say that the grocery stores selling wine is impacting the wine and spirit stores themselves, that is why a lot have gone down in grade. So keep shopping at grocery stores! But the PLCB is still collecting money since they sell the product to the grocery stores. There were people upset with the return policy change that took effect because of grocery stores. The plcb didn’t want to do returns on product sold at grocery stores, even though technically it is still their product. They do hurt licensees, grocery stores are sometimes better stocked then the plcb stores. You know you can find Caymus and Cakebread at almost all the grocery stores. Licensees that either know when it comes in or are friendly with staff get it first, screw the others. Licensees were given a list of items that were licensed only, told that if they order they can get it in about 8 weeks, 5 months later still not available. My thought is if licensees start ordering more SO ( special orders) the stores don’t get credit for those sales, then if you can get enough stores downgraded, can you make them non existent? There is just no accountability in any part of the organization. The higher ups say to do something, then DMs decide what they want to do or not, then managers do whatever they want 620 so stores all beating to the drum that benefits themselves . Then you have no accountability for overtime, people are just padding their pensions- especially in Region 1 because managers want the OT and say it is staffing issues, but really they don’t know how to manage. Time and attendance is falsified all the time. It is 2019, and they still use pen and pencil and the “ honor” system to get paid. There are so many issues that they should stand up and take notice to and just say “ we don’t know how”. They say that we citizens don’t pay their paychecks , but the pension that they collect when they retire is all of our burdens.

Albert Brooks said...

I have posted a few times that "managers" are barely allowed to manage themselves and would be laughed at in the real world of store management. I have heard about some stores being downgraded but I'm not sure what the criteria is for that. The one store close to me was downgraded even though they are selling more to licensees than ever before. Of course, that is all due to the Grocery stores it supplies.

As for products not available to the public and only to licensees I've mentioned that numerous times over the past 5 years. Hopefully, The Haircut (President for Life DADA Wendell Young)is correct when he said that this was the beginning of the end. Death by 1000 cuts.