Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wine Stores

Let me say right off that I do not drink wine, nor do I buy wine from a stat store. A lot of people think that eliminating the state store system in Pennsylvania may be good for the consumer. I don’t know. Let’s take a look at a few things. It is my understanding that to avoid being a monopoly Pennsylvania must sell you any wine that is sold in the United States that is available on the open market. Beer distributors have no such requirement. If you special order a wine from a particular store you may have to buy a minimum order. Duh! Most businesses do this. The fact is that you should be able to buy any wine you want in Pennsylvania. As a business seeking profit, a beer distributor is free to tell me no. If I can buy any wine in Pa., why can’t I buy any beer? I know that beers need to be registered here, but do wine need registration? Why the discrimination?

If wine is sold on the free Market in private shops, those shops will not sell you what you want but rather what makes profit. They may also decide not to handle a brand just because they don’t want to. Demand could influence a manager but he is under no mandate to cater to customers. This is how merchants grow or fail. So the way I see it the state of Pennsylvania must sell me a wine that I want but a bar owner can tell me to get lost. Why the discrimination? So here is my question. If state stores were to be privatized, what guarantee do we have that one could go to ANY store and buy ONE bottle of ANY wine sold in the US cheaper than it cost right now? Is this happening in other states? I haven’t decided if I am pro or con on privatization of the state store system but should this occur do we really know what will come of it?

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