Myths of Privatization

Consumer Benefit Myth

Who benefits from private liquor sales? Consumers?—Don't Believe It!

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Selection for many consumers is reduced in a private system, as rural stores close and others have just a few shelves of alcohol crammed in among many other items.

A 2008 price comparison between Pennsylvania and 10 locations in West Virginia, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland found:  for five popular liquors—Captain Morgan Rum, Jack Daniels Whiskey, Grey Goose Vodka, Jagermeister, and Absolut Vodka, alcohol bought out-of-state was more expensive in 26 cases, less expensive in 24.

The out of state alcohol was $3/bottle more expensive in 11 instances; $3/bottle less expensive in only three instances (Study by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

Pa. has Wine and Spirits stores in every one of the state's 67 counties; West Virginia had state run stores in every county; with private companies in charge,  five counties now have no stores.

In West Virginia's 20 least populous counties, 10 of 22 liquor outlets are in drug or convenience stores; 14 of 22 are in retail stores not specializing in liquor . 

Who Benefits from Private Liquor Sales? Big Business and Big Alcohol—Believe It!

In West Virginia state, 81 of 165 private liquor stores are owned by CVS/Rite Aid, 7-11, Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, or Pharmor.

In Washington state, Costco spent $1.2 million and Wal-Mart $40,000 supporting a referendum to make retail liquor sales private—a scheme DEFEATED by voters last November; the beer industry spent $5 million to defeat this referendum, to keep private liquor sales from competing with private beer sales.

Tell your legislator to get the facts, and not believe the myth, before voting to sell this valuable state asset.