LCB self-dealing: Playing favorites
By The Tribune-Review
Published: 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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.