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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 4, 2019 04:16 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Franchise Store System Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will establish a franchise store system for the sale of spirits and wine in Pennsylvania. The goal of my legislation is to expand consumer convenience, improve the long-term, financial position of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and generate significant new revenues for the Commonwealth.

This legislation will maintain the over 600 PLCB retail outlets, retain the existing jobs and allow the PLCB to continue to control of the wholesale distribution of spirits and wine. I believe this proposal builds off the incremental steps taken in Act 39 of 2016 to expand wine sales in the Commonwealth.

Specifically, this legislation directs the PLCB to create a franchise store system, contracting with up to 2,000 franchises by 2024 who will sell wine and spirits in the Commonwealth for off premise consumption. The nearly 900 expanded wine permit license holders will automatically be included with home distributors and other retailers being given the opportunity to apply for one of the remaining 1100 franchisees. While this may seem like a large number of retail outlets, it provides Pennsylvania consumers with significantly fewer retail stores per capita than our neighboring states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.

The PLCB will also be required to expand their distribution system to provide delivery only to off premise licensees. The legislation also establishes a simpler, more transparent and fairer markup regime for all products. The new markup language provides markup flexibility for the Board while also directing the Board to strive for both pricing competitiveness against neighboring states and profitably growth through premiumization.

I hope you will join me and in co-sponsoring the retail franchise store legislation.

Introduced as SB548