Pa. Liquor Stores to Close Early for Holidays

No wine for you: All liquor stores in Pennsylvania will be shuttered by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 8 p.m. on New Years’ Eve, by decree of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

HARRISBURG – If you want to enjoy a little Christmas wine or New Year’s bubbly in Pennsylvania, you best not wait to buy it.

After 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, all state-owned liquor stores – which means all liquor stores in the Keystone State – will be closed, in accordance with a decision made behind-closed-doors in Harrisburg by the bureaucracy that oversees the roughly 620 liquor stores.

But the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board says it’s trying to make it easier for customers who need that last-minute bottle of Cabernet to go with their Christmas ham.

More than 50 state stores normally closed Monday because of low sales volume will be open on Christmas Eve and New Years’ Eve this year, despite both holidays falling on Monday.

“This is a very busy time of year, so we want to be as responsive to consumers as we can,” said Stacy Kriedeman, spokeswoman for the PLCB. “That’s what the scheduling is based on.”

The decision about which stores are open and their hours is not made by the board members of the PLCB. Instead, it is left to the Retail Operations wing of the agency, Kriedeman said.

The Retail Operations section of the PLCB consists of three regions and 26 “districts” charged with overseeing all details of the day-to-day operations of the state liquor stores, including staffing, training, in-store marketing, inventory control, equipment and software upgrades and implementation of best practices to improve business operations, according to the agency’s website.

Opponents of the PLCB’s bureaucratic liquor monopoly say daily operations of businesses should not be ruled by governmental decree.

“Being responsive to consumers shouldn’t be a certain time of year issue; it’s an everyday issue for those truly putting customers and taxpayers first,” said Jay Ostrich, communications director for the Commonwealth Foundation, a free market think tank that favors privatizing the state liquor system.

Utah is the only other state with state-owned liquor system such as Pennsylvania’s.

Gov. Tom Corbett and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, vocally support privatization.

Legislation to do so was introduced last session but never received a full vote in either the state House or the state Senate. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in early 2013, when the new session begins.

PA Independent asked how the PLCB arrived at its decision to open some stores for longer hours during the holidays. Kriedeman said a right-to-know request should be filed before that information would be made public.

Contact Boehm at Eric@PAIndependent.com and follow @PAIndependent on Twitter.

— Edited by John Trump at jtrump@watchdog.org

JohnRz December 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Interesting. Are you sure of that?
Bob December 27, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I just guessing
johnny December 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
So those against priviatization would like to pay for the pensions of the LCB employees?
JohnRz December 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Typical TP response. Suddenly eliminating a large number of people currently paying in to the plan would make it even less solvent. I know that would make you very happy but the PLCB only count for less than one percent of state pensions. Besides, when I buy a car I pay for UAW pensions, In fact whenever I shop I try to buy American and union label so I know my a part of my dollars are going back to the middle class. And yes I support our state police, teachers, and other public service pensions I support through my taxes. Tell me, ab, exactly what it is you have against secure middle class families.
cfuck December 31, 2012 at 08:56 PM
all public section unions in PA MUST GO!


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