Giant Eagle is now offering Pennsylvanians a one-stop-shop for groceries, wine and beer.
It has only been two weeks since Act 39 went into effect in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and Giant Eagle have already introduced the first pilot wine-to-go sales program. Additionally, one Pittsburgh Giant Eagle store has already begun selling wine to go.
“Today is a great milestone in bringing additional convenience to Pennsylvanians seeking to pick up a bottle of wine along with ingredients for dinner, and maybe even a six pack of beer or two,” said Board chairman Tim Holden. “Less than two weeks after historic liquor reforms took effect across Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh residents enjoy one-stop shopping for wine, beer and groceries at their local Giant Eagle.”
Giant Eagle 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 many Giant Eagle stores in 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 one Giant Eagle location.
Among the wine expanded permits granted so far by the PLCB were 32 permits for Giant Eagle stores, including one for the Market District store at Settlers Ridge in Robinson Township, Pa. On the afternoon of Aug. 15, Giant Eagle 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.
Giant Eagle received its first delivery from the PLCB on Aug. 18 and began selling wine to go on Aug. 19 at 100 Settlers Ridge Center Dr.
The PLCB is in discussions with a number of large chain retailers interested in selling wine to go, and it will be encouraging development of similar, limited pilot programs with each retailer intending to sell wine at multiple locations.
“For the last two months, since Act 39 was signed into law, we’ve been stressing that we want to bring wine to go to consumers as quickly as possible, but that we’re determined to do it right,” said Board member Mike Negra. “Giant Eagle’s introduction of wine-to-go sales is the culmination of a lot of hard work by individuals across all of the PLCB’s departments, and the PLCB is ready and eager to achieve similar success with retail chains across Pennsylvania.”
The PLCB still aims to begin broader-scale shipping of wine to large-volume chains in the October timeframe.
Restaurant and hotel licensees interested in selling large quantities of wine-to-go (more than 20 cases per order from the PLCB) are encouraged to contact the PLCB’s Office of Wholesale Operations at 844-363-WINE (9463) or [email protected] to discuss the wines and volumes they anticipate buying from the PLCB for wine-to-go resale.
Wine expanded permit holders purchasing smaller amounts of wine may begin selling wine as soon as permits are issued, assuming they are selling wine in-stock at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. Licensees requiring larger quantities of wine or certain products not currently in stock may wait longer to receive those products.
“The PLCB has implemented a remarkable amount of change in the last two weeks, and we’re encouraged by the reactions of consumers and retail partners who are excited for the additional access, convenience and customer service these changes deliver,” said Board member Michael Newsome. “Not only do we improve the consumer experience through expanded Sunday sales, Pennsylvania Lottery sales at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, direct wine shipping and wine to go at retail, but we also set the stage for sales growth and greater profitability that will benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
“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 PLCB for the efforts to quickly implement Act 39 and Giant Eagle’s commitment to bringing greater convenience to the people of Pennsylvania.”
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide and licenses more than 20,000 beverage alcohol producers and retailers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling more than $14.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs and law enforcement and public safety initiatives across the state, among other things. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies and local municipalities across the state.