Small Retailers and Package Stores Need Your Support On Question #3

In our latest Advisor Magazine, we included a campaign ad produced by the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee outlining why you should vote yes on question #3. The video explains that locally owned package stores, independent markets and convenience stores initiated the ballot question. Not only will voting yes help save Massachusetts small retailers and package stores, but it will support consumer convenience, public safety, and tourism. 

Visit https://www.yeson3mass.com/ for more information on how you can support this campaign!

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 21.

 

Why Vote YES on Question 3

According to the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee, voting YES on Question #3 will allow for the safe and convenient expansion of alcohol sales. Question #3 will:

1. Promote Consumer Convenience 

Progressively increase the number of allowed beer and wine licenses from 9 to 18, minus any full liquor licenses owned. The number of full liquor licenses will be set at 7.

2. Promote Public Safety

Prohibit self-checkout of alcohol and change the fine for selling to a minor applicable to gross sales rather than just for alcohol.

3. Promote Tourism

Allowing valid out-of-state IDs to be relied upon by a retailer will increase access to alcohol in a reasonable and responsible way.

There are many ways you can help promote the Vote YES campaign, including making a donation to the “21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee”; adding the “Vote Yes on 3” logo to the end of your email signature, your store newsletters, and/or website (by copying & pasting the logo); placing “Vote Yes on 3” signs in your store’s window, etc.

To learn more about what you can do to support this campaign, please visit:

https://www.masspack.org/Ballot-Initiative

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 20.

 

 

Time To Spread The Work – Ballot Question Update

Saving The 3 Tier Alcohol System

A highly anticipated debate in Massachusetts is preparing to finalize a decision on November 8, 2022, after votes are made on ballot question #3.

Ballot question #3 concerns off-premise alcoholic beverage retailers and the number of licenses that an entity is allowed to hold. Voting YES will allow entities to ultimately hold eighteen beer and wine licenses, an increase from the nine currently allowed. (This increase will be gradual.) Voting YES will also decrease the number of full liquor licenses from nine to seven. Ultimately, a YES vote will help restore balance in the off-premise retail industry.

 

Voting YES on ballot question #3 will not only support consumer demand and promote equal opportunity for all retailers, but it will also help save local businesses by preventing big corporations from dominating the market. Voting YES will further assist local businesses and better public safety by prohibiting self-checkout of alcoholic beverages and establishing a fine for selling to a minor applicable to the total amount of purchases, rather than just for the alcohol purchased.

Voting YES will aid in expanding tourism and increasing the customer base in Massachusetts to allow retailers to accept out-of-state IDs, as we are currently the only state that does not force retailers to reasonably rely on valid out-of-state IDs.

Liquor License Advisor encourages you to vote YES to not only support local business but also to increase the demand for your license, as well as increase the return on your investment over time. We support our clients and business models that we’ve helped establish over the years, and it’s important to us that you are successful. Reach out to us any time with questions. We’re here for you.

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 19.

 

 

Restaurant’s Pandemic Adjustments

What’s Here To Stay For The Industry

An article posted in early July on rebusinessonline.com entitled “Retail, Restaurant Industries Embrace Post-Pandemic Design Shifts” addresses the post-pandemic shifts in consumer behavior, as the ease of ordering online with multiple pickup and/or delivery options has become the norm over the past few years. Although the pandemic is behind us, the behaviors consumers adopted are not, and consumer behaviors and expectations when it comes to shopping, dining, and drinking have changed, and businesses are paying attention. Let’s take a closer look at how restaurants are adapting.

The article identifies Border Foods, one of the largest privately held Taco Bell franchises in America, as one restaurant that has worked to create a new restaurant concept designed around the established fast-food model – but an elevated experience, with two-stories and four drive-thru lanes. Josh Hanson, founder and CEO at Vertical Works and WORKSHOP (the company behind the Border Foods redesign), states that their goal was to offer a “highly personalized customer experience” and that “the pandemic accelerated this expectation, as retailers were forced to connect with consumers in new ways.”

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 18.

 

 

Doubling Liquor License Allotment In Massachusetts

A 2022 ballot proposal seeks to change the liquor license industry as we know it – but in a staggered, controlled fashion. Although there are a few components to the proposal, the most impactful portion of the ballot question proposes to increase the number of licenses available to retailers from the current allotted nine to 18. This proposal comes on the heels of Cumberland Farms unsuccessfully pursuing an unlimited number of beer and wine licenses for food and convenience stores, which created quite the buzz in the liquor license world. Although similar in nature, this new proposal requests additional, not unlimited, liquor licenses, which may lead to a warmer reception than the one the Cumberland Farms proposal met, as this proposed increase is gradual in nature.   Currently, each corporate entity or individual is limited to a maximum of nine total alcohol licenses, including both wine & malt licenses and all-alcoholic beverage licenses.  All nine of these licenses can be all-alcoholic licenses as of now, a ratio that would change under the proposed plan.

This proposal offers a staggering increase of this allotment, which would be laid out like so, according to a recent State House News Service report:

-Increase to 12 licenses in 2023

-Increase to 15 licenses in 2027

-Increase to 18 licenses in 2031

It is important to note that all-alcoholic beverage licenses would be capped at seven, and the remainder of the licenses would have to be used for wine & malt.

However, any licensee who currently holds nine all-alcoholic beverage licenses would be grandfathered in and allowed to keep all nine all-alcoholic licenses.

Mass Pack Executive Director Robert Mellion describes the proposal as an “olive branch to food and convenience stores who previously sought to uncork an unlimited number of beer and wine licenses”, according to State House News Service. Mellion is also quoted as saying that the proposal “is intended to end some of the constant disruptions in alcohol retail that has been going on since 2006”, in a Boston Business Journal article entitled “Six Proposed 2022 ballot initiatives for businesses to watch”.

Cumberland Farms surprisingly did not file a ballot proposal related to alcohol sales, as expected, and this increase from nine to 18 licenses serves as a compromise between Cumberland Farm’s former proposal and what is currently allowed. The State House News Service article elaborates on the notion of compromise by quoting Mellion as saying that, “because many shoppers want to purchase beer or wine alongside their groceries and because package stores rely on spirits to drive much of their business, the language could serve as a compromise that offers benefits to both camps.”

The ballot question contains a few other components as well, such as banning alcohol sales at self-checkout stations; allowing liquor stores to accept out of state IDs and allowing these IDs to be “reasonable defense” against allegations of selling to a minor; and mandating fines based upon a store’s gross sales, rather than alcohol sales alone, if a store is found selling alcohol to a minor.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the liquor license industry is changing, and the Cumberland Farms proposal and this subsequent 2022 ballot proposal are paving the way for this change that some owners don’t want to stick around to see how it ends.

 

For similar articles, read The Advisor Magazine by Liquor License Advisor – Issue #7

2022 Liquor License Advisor USA All rights reserved