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Distilled Spirits Council Urges PLCB for Open and Transparent Process

Flexible Pricing Should Benefit the Consumer
by press release
October 05, 2016

During the public comment period of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) meeting, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President for State Government Relations David Wojnar urged for an open and transparent process while the agency develops its flexible pricing proposal.

“As a government run monopoly, the PLCB should strive to make important decisions regarding pricing in an open and transparent process,” said Wojnar. “We believe Act 39 should be interpreted as instructing the PLCB to maximize returns by providing the best prices for consumers – not as a blank check to optimize PLCB margins at the expense of the suppliers producing the spirits and wine. Flexible pricing should be implemented in a way that serves the consumer and not as a blatant cash grab to make the year-end numbers look better.

“In many states when a supplier offers promotional prices, the price discount is designed to benefit the consumer. However, under flexible pricing any supplier discount would be met with a mark-up by the PLCB. As a result, the PLCB would increase its margin – but the consumer would see no discount in the purchase price. It seems clear that any pricing decisions should be delayed until an industry working group is assembled and an open and transparent process is established so stakeholders can work with the PLCB on a flexible pricing plan that benefits consumers.

“Typically, when control states consider a significant policy shift they will assemble industry working groups and proceed in an open and transparent manner. Iowa and Maine serve as recent successful examples of this in practice. We encourage the PLCB to follow the recommended best practices of NABCA, the control state trade association, and bring industry and regulators together to collaborate on new policy proposals,” Wojnar concluded.

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