Friday, May 6, 2011

Big Box Chains Buying Up State Liquor Licenses...

One of my pet peeves is grocery chains buying State Liquor Licenses and moving the State Store inside their big-box store.

Seems every time a major grocery chain buys a State liquor license to increase floor traffic for groceries (got to be the only reason) – and sometimes the only license in a small county – consumer choice goes DOWN.

It has happened with Giant Beagle in Lancaster, with the Pit Stop selling out, and now in Athens, with Kroger buying out Lucky Dog.

Go into any beer and liquor only store and look at the number of craft beers and specialty liquors. From my observation the choices decrease by at least two-thirds every time a chain takes over. In the case of Giant Beagle, it carries about 2/3 the number of beers sold by the Pit Stop. Krogers in Athens carries only about 1/8 of the beers that Lucky Dog carried. Pitiful.

I have heard that beer distributors operate much like suppliers in other industries. Chains deal with large distributors who can afford to buy shelf space and also provide a "bribe". It’s called a “rebate”, but it is basically a BID for business that the distributor guarantees the chain a lump sum up-front at contract time. If this is anything like my business, then those "rebates" are highly guarded secrets.

Be interested to know how accurate this is to the beer industry.

One thing I do know: grocery chains suck at selling craft beer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

"USA, USA..."

Two things struck me this morning…

1- Chanting crowds are chanting crowds the world over. Maybe we’re not as different as we like to think we are. Substitute “God is Great" for “USA, USA…", and if you were totally uninformed that the reason for the celebration was the justice done on a mass-murderer, it would sound - and effectively mean - exactly the same.

2- On the ride in this morning, I did nothing but switch back+forth between radio news shows, and despite existence of either real or supposed bias, NPR’s coverage was much more in-depth, fact-filled and well-rounded than any of the other news services.

Thing that bothers me, is the stupid celebrations. I can maybe see NY City and DC, but C-bus, Ohio? Students jumping in Mirror Lake? Come on.

How long do you think before some clown takes the video on those chants of “USA, USA…” and pastes in “God is Great, God is Great…”, and vice-versa?

What do they say about touchdown celebrations? “Act like you have been there before.”

Up to me, we’d be doing this four or five times a day, as long as it takes. – BUT, it is never the time or place to glorify in death.

Do what you have to do and move on – the weakest thing we can do is to show that this is not the normal result.