| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

LCB self-dealing: Playing favorites

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013

Giving in-house brands it never should have created prime selling locations in stores — an unfair edge over competing private brands — is another way that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board abuses its monopoly on wine and liquor sales.

Documents obtained by the Trib via a state Right to Know Law request show the LCB's flagship in-house wine brand, TableLeaf, almost always gets the best sales positions on state-store floors and shelves. In 13 of TableLeaf's first 20 months on the market, it enjoyed one of the top five store spots for sales 17 times — more than any other brand.

And two other in-house brands, Dialed In and LA MERIKA, got top placements for seven months during their first year.

Marketing experts highly prize such positioning, with placement at eye level — where consumers are more likely to notice — particularly important when building a brand. Yet the fact that even this outrageously favorable treatment hasn't necessarily made the in-house brands top sellers does not mitigate how misguided these LCB ventures are.

The LCB makes no more profit on in-house brands than it does on others, so there's no valid financial rationale for this putrid self-dealing. The Commonwealth Foundation's Jay Ostrich puts it well: “Competing for shelf space with government is certainly not what free enterprise is all about.”

And that's one more reason why privatization must end the LCB monopoly.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Keep asking questions
  2. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  3. The Pa. budget: Wolf’s hard head
  4. Grandparents v. Parents: A sound ruling