June 01, 2012
Just after midnight I had the honor of being the first customer to buy a bottle of liquor at Wine World & Spirits on 45th St. right off of I-5.
(A fifth of Woodford Reserve Bourbon)
Wine World has an impressive selection on the shelves already and they told the P-I they plan to stock 2,000 spirits including every spirit distilled in Washington state. When I was introduced to a group as initiator of I-1100, one of the new managers showed his state liquor store employee pin and said with a grin "thanks for getting me a new job".
Congratulations and good luck to all the new entrepreneurs in the business.
UPDATE: It sounds like Metropolitan Market's first customer beat me to it.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 01, 2012
12:23 AM | Email This
1. Woohoo!! Loving this...
2. Thats a good bourbon!
I don't drink hard liquor but applaud the free market takeover of a government monopoly. Good riddance, state bureaucrats and unions.
Postscript: I for years enjoyed a drop or two of Baileys Irish Cream in my coffee. Under the Queen's reign the price almost doubled within 5-6 years. So I quit it and switched to Bailey's non-alcoholic products and have now lost the taste for the alcohol version. I have no doubt prices will fall dramatically once the free market settles itself.
4. FINALLY! Sanity creeps into the State in at least a small way. Let's hope this is indicative of more meaningful changes that will brighten this liberal enclave with rays of advanced thinking. Good for you, shark. :)
5. Can someone explain why the taxes and fees are being applied at checkout, rather than being built into the price on the shelf? I am not aware of anywhere else that this happens. Gas and cigarettes both have taxes built into the retail price. I see a lot of people getting some sticker shock at checkout when the fees are applied.
6. That's one of my favorite bourbons too. I highly recommend Buffalo Trace if you like Woodford.
7. It is best when taxes and mandatory fees are charged separately to the consumer. This transparancy allows the public to see who exactly is getting their money. When taxes are opaquely rolled into the overall price, as occurs with gasoline, gullible consumers think Big Bad Oil Companies are getting all theIr money.
8. I'm glad they are adding the taxes at checkout, for the reasons stated by Steve...I can't believe part of the taxes are to reimburse the state for lost revenue though. WTF? Who's up for an initiative to start reducing the confiscatory taxes? Would this be possible?
9. Kwiebe, it all starts at the ballot box this fall. I-1100 and I-1183 would not have been necessary had Washington State had forward thinking Governors and Legislatures. Instead, Our State Government responded to greed and campaign pay-offs from wholesale monopolists and Unions interests. Vote for people who will not be afraid to replace the Liquor Control Board and Staff with people who are willing to do what is best for the People of Washington instead of themselves.
Democrats have raided much of the state coffers for years for all manner of useless programs and other profligate spending. This abuse has now necessitated that WA government treat her citizens like criminals extracting all manner of fines, taxes, fees and other collections to try and feed her voracious appetite for benefit promises made in exchange for Democrat votes.
In addition, WA has begun predatory behavior towards her citizens such as red light cameras, much stricter and electronically coordinated parking patrols, Google Earth comparisons of properties year to year in search of new construction that can be use to extract punitive fees in addition to permit fees.
If you want to lower the fees at checkout, then urge everyone you know to stop voting Democrat. And urge everyone you know to push for Public Employee Union reform and dissolution.
WI now has a handle on their spending, and this can be accomplished in WA too if we remove the wasteful pension promises that never should have been made in the first place.
11. The Democrats are still conniving to pump public money to their SEIU and AFSCME constituencies in any way possible.
Closing the State Liquor Stores is a victory, but the battle against crypto-marxist statists goes on.
12. Woodford is my favorite Bourbon I just picked up a bottle of Costco's Kirkland upscale burbon, and from my discerning taste, it is just Knob Creek under a Kirkland label. The bottle shape even looks tht way. I had hoped they would choose woodford, but that's not my decision. It's about $30 or a bit higher with the states share piled on.
Liquor sticker shock stirs up Washington state drinkers
Washington state has extricated itself from decades in the liquor business, a move that is likely to give drinkers a headache when they reach for bottled spirits on local store shelves.
The bad news for customers is that on average, per-bottle prices on liquor could rise between 10 percent and 30 percent, retailers say. The initiative imposed a new fee structure that raises those costs by 27 percent, which will likely be passed on to consumers, said Brian Smith, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
Already, liquor industry insiders are blaming wholesale distributors - two of which control about 80 percent of the state's liquor products - for the bulk of the price hikes. "What restaurants and retailers suspect ... is that distributors are padding their wholesale margin in order to recoup" the license fees they pay, said Joel Benoliel, a spokesman for retail giant Costco. "There's price-gouging going on," said Bruce Beckett, a Washington Restaurant Association spokesman. Smith said retailers and wholesalers alike were passing on their license fees. "So what you have is distributors marking up the product (for profit) and adding 10 percent, then retailers marking up the product (for profit) and adding a 17-percent fee," he said.
And who are these 2 companies which control 80% of the market in Washington State?
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Young's Market Company, LLC
@13 And what's to stop new distributors from entering this market since those two no longer have an exclusive contract with the state? Once that happens (and it will), the competition will easily undercut them and/or force them to drop their prices to retailers. The free market will prevail.
The statists are looking at the increased prices initially as some kind of moral victory. Think again. Once competition on both the retail and distribution level arrive, prices will drop. Check back in two years.
@14 Bingo: the 'new toy' theory - when the hottest new toy, new comic, new Ipad, new movie, most sought after...whatever
is released the prices are high and the inventory is low to increase interest and demand. I believe that's called marketing.
As soon as the hoopla dies down market forces go to work.
Of course, our lefty pets want to criticize and condemn TWO DAYS in.
I wonder who amongst them has bought liquor in the last 2 days... not that they'd be honest enough to admit it.
Having made my obligatory pilgramage to Costco, I now have a clear understanding of the sticker shock.
I did make a thankyou, the best way I know how, by making a purchase.
I told as many employees as I could that I really appreciated it, and that I'd sign a petition comparable to the car tab roll back one a few years back.
The idea of still paying for a bloated system that doesn't really exist anymore is terrible.
Baby steps, I suppose. Some of the Costco employees think that the company legal minds are taking the idea of specific performance or some such and running with it.
It's early yet, but the selection at my store was spotty.
@13, With 30% in taxes, yeah, prices are gonna be a little high. But at least now that can't be hidden as a nebulous "retail markup," which is *not* something that a State government should be in position to charge, ever.
At least this should put the lie to the hysterical claims of the anti-1183 crowd that the teen drinking apocalypse will now be upon us. Teens drink cheap stuff.
18. Is it me or are prices higher now? Did the state impose new fees on top of already high taxes?
Stores are charging the price or a few cents more than the state liquore stores charged for booze and then we get to add the tax on top of that. The price from the WA State liquor stores was to high with the hidden tax and now we are paying 50% more.
I like being able to buy at 8am or 10pm, but the price is to much now. I suppose this will balance in the future as market forces come into play, but i still do not know why oru state needs to charge 27% tax. They have enough money already....just spend it wisely.
20. Such a deal! Higher prices, poor selection, few if any pint sized bottles, no airline bottles. Yep, the consumer really came out ahead on this one.
21. This seems to be a great example of the drawbacks of government by initiative. If the legislature had listened to the people and privatized liquor, there would have been more opportunity to think through the consequences. Of course there's no guarantee that special interests wouldn't have resulted in higher prices or any other number of problems -- after all, special interests kept the legislature from privatizing liquor at all -- but at least there would have been a more thorough process with more analysis and debate. Instead, retailers (and Stefan) tried one initiative which failed because it cut prices and taxes, and then Costco decided to fund a politically attractive compromise that would actually raise taxes. I'm guessing they just figured they'd come out ahead and didn't care about the consumer, but perhaps they are counting on the legislature (or a subsequent initiative) lowering the taxes eventually. In any case, the ultimate fault lies with the legislature for not privatizing liquor earlier; I'm not blaming Costco or Stefan for acting when the legislature didn't. But the initiative process doesn't tend to lead to thoughtful policy-making.
22. At least we aren't on the hook for pensions any longer. We got rid of one non-essential service from the state and hopefully many more follow (state ferries, /cough). If you dont like all the taxes, then vote them out.
18, 19, 20, 21
THREE WHOLE DAYS into it.
Give us a break from your nonsense misdirection and your manufactured outrage.
Bookmark this link and comeback in 6 months, a year.
Democrats in the state legislature and in the governor's mansion are owned by the unions. There's no way in hell they would have passed privatization on their own. The only way this was ever going to happen was by initiative, so the state would be dragged into it. The legislature can easily modify the tax structure of liquor, but don't hold your breath on that.
Competition is going to settle prices, but it takes time for it to happen. Reactionaries are predictably passing judgment already. I have no issue pay a slightly higher price for now for the convenience of buying liquor when and where I want it.
25. They raised the taxes to spite us SOOOOOO
Screw them, I'm done buying in this State.
I'm already done going downtown because of the
parking and I'm done shopping in Auburn since
they installed red light cameras.
Mark@25 imagines "They raised the taxes to spite us"
Actually the taxes were set by the initiative that you (presumably) and I voted for. Blame Costco and us voters if you're unhappy.
Meanwhile I wish you good luck finding places to shop where the government doesn't impose taxes or enforce traffic laws but can afford to provide free parking.
27. @25 Mark: I love a good boycott. Vote with your wallet. Much respect to you sir.
The taxes/fees were set to keep the state from losing the revenue they enjoyed during their monopoly. Now we can see how much they had hidden from us.
My purchase at the local department store was only 74 cents higher than my WSLCB purchase a few months ago. With the per liter tax and the 20.5% sales tax, the government added 53.5% more to the retail price, it's about the same as what the state charged before.
29. 23. We'll remember you said that, pinworm.
I just solved the whole dang problem
Click on Spirits, search for your favorite hard liquor and SCREW this state.
Cheaper even with shipping, and here in 2 days
I love the internet, it solves idiot politician's greedy fists