This is the thirteenth consecutive year that StateWays has approached leading officials among the control states and asked them to address the key issues and developments that have affected their operations over the past year. And one overriding theme is clear from all these well-thought-out commentaries: the control states continue to move forward successfully on a variety of fronts. Interestingly, while the specter of privatization dominated last year’s accounts, that fear seems to have dissipated somewhat this year, although a few executives still referred to the issue. Perhaps the aggressive talk among some politicians has abated, with more scrutiny being paid to the possible ramifications of privatization.
Based on these reports, sales revenues among the control states have almost universally increased, and a wide range of responsibility initiatives continue to progress, from new efforts to combat college binge drinking to alcohol compliance training programs to help personnel identify false IDs. The officials also touch on a variety of modernization initiatives, including the upgrading of POS and security systems, redesigning and enhancing the look of stores, improving warehouse efficiencies, updating online ordering systems for licensees and developing new technologies for increasing compliance with agency regulations. There has also been a recognition of the ongoing efforts to improve retail merchandising programs across various platforms. These state snapshots also note important personnel changes within the agencies, as well as highlight pertinent legislative changes affecting the working of the agencies.
We’d like to once again thank the control state commissioners, chairpersons, administrators and other officials who took time out from their busy schedules to provide this information for us…and you.
H. Mac Gipson, Administrator, Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
The State of Alabama and its beautiful Gulf Coast is back, and better than ever! After devastating tornados, hurricanes and the largest marine oil spill in history, revenues are up; especially those from the sale of alcohol. Last fiscal year the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board distributed more than $200 million to state and local governments after paying its own expenses and, so far this year, we are enjoying a sales increase of 6 percent. We have been able to control operating costs to the point that net operating revenues exceeded prior years.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Alabama ABC Board. To commemorate this special occasion, William Thigpen, Assistant Administrator, Randall Smith, Product General Manager, Nick Ketter, Product Management Director, and I took a trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky to select a 75th anniversary bourbon. Fourteen barrels were tasted with eight being selected; three barrels of Buffalo Trace, three barrels of Eagle Rare and two barrels of Blanton. These bourbons were bottled in commemorative bottles highlighting our diamond jubilee.
The Alabama ABC Board has recently been involved in two trade shows and a third one has been planned for Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at the Marriott Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham. These trade shows have been hosted by the Distillers League of Alabama and provides a unique platform for brokers and representatives from the alcohol industry to showcase their products and innovations. Many industry representatives use this opportunity to promote new merchandise. Tastings are allowed as long as they are within the regulatory guidelines. Representatives from the ABC Board Responsible Vendor Program were also on hand to help answer questions and give advice about selling responsibly. Just in time for the holidays and for the first time in many years, value added products are available for retailers and on-premise accounts.
Students at the University of Alabama have started an anti-binge drinking campaign consisting of advertising and public relations. LessThanUThink Campaign has been a huge success and focuses on college campuses reaching out to students through humorous messages that emphasize the negative social consequences of binge drinking. One such message is “you think you won’t embarrass yourself through social media, and you wouldn’t. Four drinks ago.” This campaign is funded by The Century Council with additional funding from NABCA on behalf of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
On October 14, 2011, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed an Executive Order directing agents of the ABC Board to immediately take possession of synthetic marijuana which is also referred to “spice” and “K2”. The Executive Order cited potential medical problems that are linked to synthetic marijuana and that a number of Alabama residents have suffered severe and harmful physical effects as a result of inhaling, consuming, ingesting or otherwise coming into contact with such products. On April 30, 2012 he signed Act No. 2012-267, making “spice” and “K2” Schedule I controlled substances. Agents seized 40,572 packets of synthetic marijuana, from stores throughout the State of Alabama; a market value of over $3.9 million.
Jeff Anderson, Director, Idaho State Liquor Division
Greetings from the Gem State!
We are proud to announce another record year at the Idaho State Liquor Division (ISLD) as we distribute over $63,000,000 (+26%) to the cities, counties, general fund, and substance abuse and treatment programs in Idaho. This distribution included a one-time $8,000,000 transfer. Adjusted distributions from operations in FY2012 were $55,100,000 (+9.7%). We saw a 7% increase in sales revenue on a 4% increase in volumes in our 66 state stores and 97 contract stores. In addition, we remain engaged with the communities we serve in efforts to prevent underage and binge drinking.
Going forward, we’ll be focused on: 1) the effect of deregulation of spirits in Washington State on our ability to serve consumers; 2) deregulation efforts in the Idaho Legislature during the 2013 legislative session; 3) continuing our modernization improvements (iMOD) at Idaho state-run and contract stores; and (4) expanding our work with community groups and vendors in the area of social responsibility.
In June 2012, the first month of a deregulated market in Washington, our eight border stores saw a 33% increase in sales versus June 2011. In Post Falls, adjacent to the Spokane Valley, our two stores were up 58%. The trend continues into July at press time. Our statewide uniform pricing is highly competitive, particularly so with the deregulated market in Washington State. We work to continue to provide the best shopping experience possible, so we’re making inventory and personnel adjustments as necessary.
We’ve formed a rapid response team to help educate the citizens and our stakeholders on the true facts about what may be proposed and what the consequences would be of deregulation changes proposed during the 2013 Idaho Legislative session.
Last year at this time, we were launching iMOD, the Idaho Modernization Project. We’re focusing our efforts on every element of our store operations including the look, size, technology advances in POS and security systems, and, in certain instances, actual location changes for stores. To date, the changes have been well received from our associates and our customers. We are continuing this project with the launch of a new brand mark, new dress attire for store associates, a new consumer-focused website, and enhancements to our online ordering system for licensees. This has become a positive culture shift for our organization and our customers.
Finally, we’ve expanded our efforts in the area of social responsibility with the help of NABCA. In July 2012, we were a major volunteer and funding partner for the Fifth Annual Northwest Alcohol Conference in Boise. It was a tremendous success with participants from around North America, included nearly 100 youth attendees.
As we look forward to 2013, the ISLD continues to refine our new initiatives: liter sizes, new consumer-friendly branding, on-line training tools for our associates, automated ordering for stores, and iMOD.
Our focus is on delivering high performing, responsible customer service retail locations for the benefit of all Idahoans.
Gerry T. Reid, Chairman, Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Commission
I joined the Bureau in Maine about six months ago after a long private sector career in marketing, sales, and general management. We have a great team in Maine who look after both the spirits business and lottery operations including monthly meetings with our Commission. On the spirits side, the state has a strong relationship with separate private sector partners for wholesale operations management and retail consumer sales.
My goal is simply to focus on the basics of commerce to create a stronger, healthier business for all stakeholders in the state. Here is a brief summary of some of the things we are doing to ensure achievement of this goal.
First, we are trying much harder to eliminate out-of-stocks in the warehouse and the agency store shelves. This requires closer attention to volume forecasting and inventory management, particularly on our monthly sales specials. This can happen when we are communicating frequently with the brokers and staying on top of sales trends. But this opportunity is also influenced by retail store space management. We owe it to our agency stores to list what their consumers want so that we please the most consumers possible. This is where the tried and true “80/20” principle comes in. We are encouraging all our stakeholders to focus their resources on the 20% of the SKU’s [stock-keeping units] that drive 80% of the business. By focusing more attention on both forecasting and space management on these items, we win with consumers and yield better returns on inventory investment.
Second, we are striving for more and better spirit retail merchandising programs. To deliver this we are spending more time listening to our retailers and planning with the distillers and their brokers. This sounds quite obvious, but it requires tremendous time and commitment to do well. In our state, it also requires us to work more effectively with our legislature to modify some regulatory constraints that are depriving our consumers of basic value to which they are entitled.
Third, we are just beginning to think about on-premise brand merchandising opportunities. This will be a big culture shift in our state, but a necessary one, because great spirit brands are built in the on-premise channels. For us, this has regulatory implications as well as distiller and broker planning energy and resources.
Fourth, Maine still lacks a pricing formula which is something we are committed to adopting in the near future. This raises an issue of significant concern to us, given our stated goal at the beginning of this article which is the aggressive pace of distiller price increases. Our concern is that we doubt the consumers’ ability to pay because of the weak economy, jobs picture, and weak personal discretionary incomes. It would be very unfortunate if pricing actions produce unintended negative effects on general demand. History has shown how easy it is to stifle impulse purchases, reduce on-premise occasions, and motivate consumers to trade down to lower-priced beverage alternatives. We believe the big opportunity right now is for innovative, high quality, brilliantly packaged and designed value brands. Superior consumer value is one of the “basics” that will receive more support in the state of Maine.
I will conclude with a few comments on privatization. As stated above, our system in Maine already uses private sector partners for warehousing, shipping, and all spirits retailing activities. Like any business system, ours can certainly be improved; however, it is broadly meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders. As a result, our intention is to improve what we have rather than start over with a completely different business model. We are having a pretty good year in the business and look forward to many more in the future.
Stephen Larson, Administrator, Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division
This past year the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (IABD) focused on implementing the vision laid out in the agency’s four-year business model and strategic plan. Many large, long-term projects were completed including launching online reporting of beer and wine taxes, initiating a comprehensive alcohol compliance program, and providing an alcohol server eLearning training course. All of these and more were accomplished while having another record-breaking year in sales and funds generated for the State.
Increase compliance and regulatory clarity
As part of the strategic plan, IABD has been developing technology and educational programs that will result in increased compliance with the regulations that are the framework for the agency’s mission and the sale of alcohol to consumers. In accordance with that goal, an electronic application for reporting beer and wine taxes was recently implemented. The reporting and payment process is completed through the existing eLicensing program, which wholesalers already use to renew licenses. Test groups gave very positive feedback; the process is user-friendly and self-explanatory.
One key component to increasing compliance is to also increase regulatory clarity. IABD has finished a complete review of all its administrative rules. Staff has now begun the process of revising existing and writing new rules where necessary.
Restructuring of IABD for efficiency and greater return on investment
IABD’s Regulatory Affairs Bureau has initiated a comprehensive alcohol compliance program to increase compliance through education, voluntary adherence and punitive regulation. During the inaugural year of the compliance program, more than two-thirds of routine checks found licensees to be in compliance; however 54 percent of complaint-initiated investigations found violations. The top three offenses were bootlegging, improper book and record keeping, and retailers purchasing product from businesses not licensed for wholesale.
Cultivate relationships and build partnerships
Staff is actively strengthening partnerships with law enforcement throughout the state. Alcohol compliance training, education, and assistance in investigations has been provided to dozens of law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Additionally, IABD is now part of the curriculum for the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
Education and outreach programs
A new eLearning course for on- and off-premises licensees was launched in February. The Iowa Program for Alcohol Compliance Training (I-PACT) focuses on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, identifying elements of the Iowa driver’s license, valid forms of identification, and how to spot altered and fake IDs. Participants also learn techniques for refusing the sale of alcohol with minimal confrontation, how to legally confiscate an altered or fake ID, and tips for offsite delivery of alcohol. The intent is to help prevent underage sales and sales to intoxicated patrons.
The IABD published the manual “Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Laws and You” as a quick reference guide for licensees to achieve and maintain compliance with laws addressing the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. Each licensee and local authority received one free copy of the 88-page book; additional copies are available for sale and the electronic version can be downloaded for free by any interested individual. A companion manual, “Enforcing Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverage Laws,” aimed at Iowa’s law enforcement, will be published later this year. Both publications were paid for through an educational grant from the National Alcoholic Beverages Control Association.
Comprehensive review to maximize revenues through the efficient delivery of services
Restrictions on selling spirits were removed for convenience stores and gas stations during the 2011 legislative session. That, combined with the addition of numerous non-grocery chains such as pharmacies and discount stores also adding spirits to their offerings, has lead to the IABD experiencing a rapid growth in delivery points over the last year. In line with the strategic initiative to conduct a comprehensive review to maximize revenues through the efficient delivery of services, we have issued a Request for Information to study the existing and potential alternative infrastructure models including warehousing and delivery. The goal is to identify and implement the most efficient model for the next decade.
During the 2012 session, the Iowa legislature passed a bill allowing the storage of mixed drinks, cocktails and infused spirits for up to 72 hours for on-premises licensees. However, the new language stipulated the IABD must write rules to establish requirements for storage, labeling and record keeping. The IABD filed and adopted emergency rules which were effective July 1, 2012; rules were simultaneously filed through the regular rule making process in order to allow for public comment.
While the IABD spent the year focused on the above strategic initiatives, it also had a record-breaking fiscal year. Nearly $237 million from the wholesale of spirits broke last year’s record by $15 million, representing a 4.6 percent increase in sales. In addition to revenue from spirits profits, funds generated by excise taxes on wine and beer, license fees and civil penalties translated into a general fund transfer of over $114 million for the first time in a single fiscal year. The majority of this money will be used as general funding to be appropriated by the legislature for a variety of state programs. A portion of the funds is earmarked for substance abuse and local programs. The remaining funds will be used for Iowa native wine and beer promotion.
Shauna Helfert, Administrator, Liquor Control Division, Montana Department of Revenue
The Liquor Control Division, Montana Dep-artment of Revenue completed another positive fiscal year. Along with obtaining optimal results from the business operations, the division had two noteworthy events during the past twelve months. A Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act of Montana was passed and implemented in the past year and a successful personnel transition was implemented within the Montana Liquor Control Division.
Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act of Montana
The Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act was passed during the 2011 legislature. The law had the following main requirements:
Anyone who serves or sells alcohol, their immediate supervisor or manager, and the licensee if they serve themselves, must obtain server training through a state approved program; Training must be received within 60 days of hire; and Training must be repeated every three years thereafter.
With the passage of the Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act, administrative rules were adopted to help implement and refine the requirements of the law. Through administrative rule, curriculum guidelines were developed regarding outside service providers who wanted to provide training in Montana. Currently there are 11 training providers, including the state’s own program called Let’s Control It, certified to provide server training in the state.
By the end of 2011, the state of Montana’s program had trained 16,436 people. Previously, the most people trained through the state’s program in a year were 3,326. Needless to say it was a very busy year. At this point in time we do not know how many people were trained through the other ten approved programs, but it’s a safe bet it’s a few thousand more. In the next few months we will be able to better determine the exact numbers trained throughout the state.
With the passage of the Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act, Montana is taking a step in the right direction to help protect its citizens through a well trained workforce in the alcohol industry.
The department was pleased to announce personnel changes within the Montana Liquor Control Division. Effective May 9th, Steve Swanson assumed the role as the division’s Management Analyst and LaNor Stigen has assumed the role as the Liquor Distribution Bureau Chief.
Steve Swanson has worked for the Liquor Control Division for the past eleven years. He was initially hired as a purchasing agent and later transitioned into a management position for the distribution bureau in 2008. In his new capacity as the Management Analyst, Steve is tasked with quality assurance, internal controls, project management, facility management and supporting the administrator with functions including policy, procedure and legislation for the division.
LaNor Stigen joined the Liquor Control Division five years ago as an accountant. In her new capacity as the Liquor Distribution Bureau Chief, LaNor is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the liquor distribution processes. This includes warehouse shipping and receiving, accounts receivable and payable, inventory management, liquor order processing, agency contract management and customer service.
These changes enhanced our management team by broadening the in depth knowledge and understanding of the division to allow for to better service the citizens of Montana.
Andrew Deloney, Chairman, Michigan Liquor Control Commission
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) prides itself on being a high performance agency excelling in economic development, revenue generation and public safety. Holding a license to sell alcoholic beverages can be considered an important component of being competitive and profitable within the hospitality industry.
The highest priority this past year at the MLCC is the reinvention of our licensing process, with the goal of creating a smoother, faster, fairer, and more certain licensing process, so that applicants can get considered for licenses and permits quickly so they can get into business, or expand their businesses, and have success here in Michigan. Much work has been done, but there is still plenty to do. It took many decades for the process to become what it had become, but we’re working on a daily basis to identify the problems with the system and develop solutions.
The Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) publicly released its report to Governor Rick Snyder containing 72 recommendations for improving Michigan’s liquor control system while continuing to protect Michigan’s citizens. Governor Snyder has reviewed the ORR recommendations and believes the ORR report is an important step in the process of reinventing Michigan government.
The ORR formed the recommendations after a comprehensive review process, including convening an Advisory Rules Committee of stakeholders that included representatives from law enforcement, substance abuse prevention organizations, retailers, tourism promotion organizations, chambers of commerce, craft breweries, wineries, distilleries, distributors and restaurants, as well as MLCC Chairman.
The ORR identified several ways to improve the liquor control system to encourage business growth and job creation. The ORR’s recommendations cover a wide range of topic areas, including improving state licensing processes and encouraging economic development in our micro-brewing and winemaking industries, which are important to the State’s economic development and place making efforts. The ORR worked closely with the MLCC in reviewing existing administrative rules and developing the recommendations through the Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee.
There are also some new additions to the Commission. Governor Rick Snyder announced the appointments of Ed Clemente, Dennis Olshove, and the reappointment of Ed Gaffney to the Commission. Clemente will serve a full four-year term as a Hearings Commissioner, and Olshove will serve the remainder of the term of former Administrative Commissioner Don Weatherspoon, which expires June 12, 2014. Gaffney has been reappointed for a full four-year term.
The future holds great promise for increased efficiencies and customer service here in Michigan. The amount of information available on our website has grown in depth and range in the areas of license and permits status check, product availability, sales totals and online ordering. We are excited to begin new programs like alcohol education, underage prevention, and communication efforts giving our agency a “business minded, customer driven” feeling.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD
George F. Griffin, Director, Montgomery County, MD, Department of Liquor Control
The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control enjoyed a very successful year on a number of fronts, but we won’t spend too much time looking back at our accomplishments. We already find ourselves extremely busy in the new fiscal year implementing several major infrastructure projects that will serve us well into the future.
For the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2012, experienced sales growth of 4.81% (in dollars) over the previous year as DLC rang up total sales of $251,743,620. Our wholesale warehouse sales totaled $131,485,161, which represented an increase of 3.89%. (Wholesale warehouse sales are full-case shipments to licensed businesses.) DLC retail stores total sales experienced a growth rate of 5.83%, having total sales of $120,258,459. These retail sales are primarily individual retail customer purchases (along with some transfers of smaller orders to licensees.) Not only was this a record year for gross sales for Montgomery County; we also saw an increase in one of our key target measurements. We attempt to maintain a “Gross Profit Margin” of 28% of total sales revenue. That gross profit margin accounts for factors such as cost of goods sold, freight, taxes and credit card financing fees. By maintaining a gross profit margin of 28% and managing our operating costs, we are able to transfer an amount of net profit to the County’s General Fund that we anticipated in the budget. For FY12, I am pleased to report, our Gross Profit Margin actually came in above target at 30.37%, meaning that not only did sales increase, but we were more profitable with those sales. The growth in the retail sector and the profit margin indicates there is some movement among consumers in returning to more “premium” products in our market.
During the coming year, we also have a full calendar of special projects that will require creative management and flexibility from all of us at DLC. We are preparing to move into our new warehouse/headquarters facility later this year, as the construction activity is in its final phases. We anticipate occupying our new offices before the end of this calendar year, and plan to begin operations out of the new warehouse early in 2013. This is a long-anticipated, major project for DLC, and our “new and improved” physical plant will allow us to better serve our customers for many years to come.
We are also preparing to implement “Phase II” of our Point-of- Sale system upgrades, which will include gift cards and electronic check verification among other features. DLC is also launching the implementation phase of the Montgomery County ERP system that includes warehouse and transportation management that directly impacts our daily business operations. This is a major, multi-million dollar, county-wide effort that will require significant investments of time, energy and resources for more than two years. At the same time, we are moving forward on efforts to replace our case management/tracking system for our regulatory and enforcement functions.
DLC is also continuing to take the lead among Maryland jurisdictions in implementing and creating regulatory and enforcement enhancements. New alcohol laws took effect July 1st in Maryland; one of them allows restaurants to permit patrons to “carry-in” bottles of wine for on-premise consumption with a discretionary corkage fee. Montgomery County once again created and hosted the Annual Maryland Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Forum for all alcohol-related state and local agencies.
Ed Morgan, Commissioner, Mississippi Department of Revenue
Sales at the Mississippi ABC continue to grow. Total sales for FYE 6/30/2012 were $271,202,809 over last year’s sales of $263,321,482 – a 3% increase. Contributions to the General Fund were $95,362,477 up from $92,448,229 for FYE June 30, 2011. Total case sales were 2,847,005 compared to last year’s 2,815,972 which is a little over 1%. Customers appear to be returning to premium and super premiums brands as sales dollars increased at a higher rate than case sales.
For the first time in many years vodka overtook gin as ABC’s number one seller. In the wine market, the number one type in Mississippi is Moscato. Forty percent of our total case sales are wine and 60% are spirits, but spirits bring in almost 75% of dollar volume and wine only 25%. We sold almost 7,000 different SKUs last year, with about 4,000 SKUs stocked in the warehouse in bailment.
Privatization has not come up in Mississippi recently. Several years ago there was some talk of privatizing wine, but that did not happen. The advantage we appear to have in Mississippi in maintaining control status is that our liquor stores are privately owned and not state stores. We also have a low mark-up of 27.5% and excise tax rates of $2.50/gallon on spirits, $1.00/gallon on sparkling wines and champagne, and $.35 /gallon on other wines. If a permittee orders by 11:00 AM they will receive their order the next day. A minimum of five cases is required, but the permittee can order every day if he chooses to with next day delivery guaranteed. Almost 90% of our orders are made on-line with the customer’s bank account being drafted the day the order is delivered. ABC has 765 on-premise accounts and 555 package stores.
The Mississippi ABC has 100 employees at the Liquor Distribution Center in Gluckstadt and are housed in a 211,000 square foot building with 1.5 miles of a custom conveyor system. We have a 35,000-square-foot room which is climate controlled for our high-end wines. The 400,000 cases of product in the warehouse are 95% bailment, and the total inventory value is over $30,000,000. We work two shifts – the day shift receives product and the night shift ships product. We receive and ship about 55,000 cases each week. Those numbers increase significantly with holidays. Any items we do not have on hand may be special ordered by a permittee. Special orders may now be entered on line. ABC allows permittees to order split cases, which is four different items in multiples of three bottles to make a 12-bottle case at a $.50/bottle up charge.
Recent regulation changes allow manufacturer coupons but not those that are instantly redeemable. The coupon must be mailed to the manufacturer and the consumer must show proof of purchase. We will also allow sample items to be purchased at package stores and bonus packs to be assembled at package stores by a manufacturer or his representative. Items in the bonus packs must be items legally sold at the package store. The regulation changes will also allow manufacturers or their representatives to go to package stores and hang neckers (50 ml bottles of a new product) on larger bottles of inventory already in the stores.
The alcohol content for beer was increased by the legislature from 5% by weight to 8% by weight. The higher alcohol beer will be sold by the beer distributors, not ABC. The DOR introduced legislation for tastings in package stores, but we were not successful in that legislation. The bill passed the Senate but did not get out of committee in the House. We will introduce the same legislation again next year.
ABC Enforcement has 21 sworn officers and 4 civilians. They issued over 800 citations this year and collected almost $80,000 in fines. Three illicit distilleries were seized. Almost one-half of Mississippi counties are still dry.
Joseph Mollica, Chairman, New Hampshire Liquor Commission
The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) is the largest non-tax revenue generator for the state and, as such, we are continuously striving to increase revenue while meeting our regulatory and safety goals. Our fiscal year ended strong despite many challenges including the weakened economy, a sluggish winter season with high gas prices and changing tax structures in neighboring states. We can attribute this success to new in-store programs, the modernization of our New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and aggressive out of state marketing efforts, with investments in a new website, social media, email marketing and a foray into television advertising.
Since our first store opened in 1934, the NHLC has contributed more than $2 billion to state coffers. Through innovation and collaboration, we are committed to serve New Hampshire citizens in a responsible and fiscally sound manner.
This past year, the modernization of our New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets remained an NHLC priority. Three stores in high traffic areas were renovated and expanded, which has contributed to double digit growth in sales for those stores. These stores offer consumers a more convenient and pleasant shopping experience and greater selection, in addition to our everyday low, tax-free prices.
Tourism is one of New Hampshire’s largest indusstries and more than half of NHLC’s business comes from out of state visitors. With the goal of providing incremental sales in an untapped market, the NHLC opened a new store at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport last year – bringing the total number of stores to 77. Located in the airport’s main terminal, it offers travelers a limited selection of popular and premium wines and spirits in an upscale environment. This new store also generates exposure among visitors and business travelers to the great selection and low prices offered at our other retail locations across New Hampshire.
The NHLC is the sole retailer of spirits; wine is also sold to consumers through grocery and convenience stores; and NHLC stores do not sell beer. For most of last year, significant attention was paid to a proposed bill that would allow the sale of spirits in grocery and convenience stores statewide. After many House and Senate committee meetings, the bill was defeated in order to ensure public safety, provide needed revenue to the state’s General Fund and protect New Hampshire’s branding and an asset that belongs to the taxpayers. We do expect continued debates on the expanded distribution issue.
Investment in the Future
The NHLC is currently involved in two RFPs to help contribute to our operational success in the future. The first is for long-term bailment, warehousing and storage services for up to 20 years. Proposals are being reviewed from bidders to provide these services for our New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and on-premise and off-premise licensees.
The second RFP will be issued this fall for a next generation point of sale system. When selected, that system will replace all point of sale equipment in our 77 retail stores, as well as supporting back end office, inventory and distribution systems.
A.D. Zander Guy, Jr., Chairman,North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission
The North Carolina ABC Commission focused on several key areas in the fiscal year just ended: efficiency of operations, third-party research that revealed the customer service provided in the retail ABC Stores is “grade A,” and public education issues. All of this occurred in a year that saw North Carolina’s retail liquor sales climb 6.58% over the last fiscal year to $796,550,095. As a result of this increased revenue, nearly $300 million was distributed to the State’s General Fund and to Local Governments.
Here are some highlights from fiscal year ending June 30, 2012:
Making the Grade
Today the state ABC Commission regulates more than 18,000 outlets that sell or serve alcohol. Just over 400 of these outlets are ABC stores. In a customer survey conducted in the fall of 2011, North Carolina’s retail and business customers of Alcoholic Beverage Control stores gave their local liquor stores an A- grade overall.
In the survey, ABC liquor stores ranked higher in overall customer satisfaction than local grocery stores, banks, discount stores and drug stores.
The survey, the first of its kind of the NC ABC stores’ customer service, was designed, conducted and analyzed by the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Detailed survey results are posted on the ABC Commission’s website at http://abc.nc.gov/boards/reports.aspx?folder=198.
Operational Efficiency/Boosting Warehouse Capacity
In September 2011, the Commission began receiving shipments at a new 200,000 square- foot-leased warehouse. The leased space doubled North Carolina’s capacity to 400,000 square feet. With the added space, the Commission has added 150 new items to the 1,800 carried previously. Case shipments were up more than 150,000 cases the first half of 2012 as compared to 2011. Retails sales the first half of the year were up more than 10 percent.
Last year, the Commission tapped Federal dollars to pay for roughly half the cost of replacing outdated, inefficient lighting fixtures at the state-owned warehouse and administrative offices.
The new fixtures automatically turn off when offices or conference rooms are not in use, conserving energy. When the fixtures are on they are more powerful, so the warehouse distribution process now happens more quickly and safely. The monthly energy bill for the office warehouse complex is about half what it was before the installation.
In addition to the lower energy bills, the Commission has realized savings from adjusting staffing and from negotiating with the warehouse contractor to secure a contract extension that provides the Commission with expenses it can budget for over the decade ahead.
The NC ABC Commission staff trained 7,697 permit holders, employees and applicants via in-person classes held across the state. In addition, the Commission offered webinars twice a month, making training more accessible for permit holders and applicants.
The Commission developed materials for ABC Stores and other permit holders (register tents, license flyers, updated the Retail Guide); translated many online resources into Spanish and created 30-second television PSA for DWI prevention and two 30-second radio PSA for holiday DWI prevention.
Additional outreach (including media interviews, conference and seminar presentations) raised awareness of “overage drinking” – alcohol use/misuse/abuse by older adults.Regarding underage drinking, the NC ABC Commission sponsored a middle school poster contest to reinforce the message that 70 percent of middle school students do not drink alcohol. The contest received more than 150 entries from across the state.
Bruce Stevenson, Superintendent, Ohio Division of Liquor Control
Fiscal Year 2012 was an extraordinary year for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. We experienced many significant and positive changes in the industry, and achieved record sales and profits. Our accomplishments reflect the Division’s renewed mission to move at the speed of business by modernizing operations for improved efficiency, providing exemplary service to its customers and stakeholders, and taking a common sense approach to regulations helping Ohio businesses grow and create jobs.
The dollar sales of spirituous liquor reached a record level in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, totaling $825 million. This was an increase of 7%, exceeding last year’s total by $54 million. Division’s net profit was of $251.4 million, an increase of more than $14 million.
This achievement is due in part to our focus on better inventory management and improved customer service to meet the needs of Ohio consumers. Tastes have become more sophisticated, and Ohioans are buying more premium products, including the many new flavored items.
The most exciting news is a positive indicator for Ohio’s economy, showing that Ohioans are again patronizing restaurants and entertainment businesses. After decreasing three of the past four years, wholesale purchases by retail permit holders such as restaurants, bars and clubs experienced a significant increase in of more than 5%. Total wholesale sales reached $252 million, exceeding last year by $13.4 million.
Another positive for Ohio is that dollar sales grew at a high rate than consumption. We sold a total of 11.7 million gallons of spirituous liquor, an increase of only about 4% over the previous year. While our dollar sales were at an all-time high, consumption is still less than during the 1980’s.
There were significant improvements to Ohio’s liquor regulations in FY 2012 spearheaded by Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative. As a result, Ohio businesses will be more competitive. The Division continues to play a key role in helping businesses understand and implement these changes. Here are some of the highlights:
Micro-Distilleries (A-3a Permit): The restrictions on the number of licenses for spirituous liquor manufacturers that produce less than 10,000 gallons per year were eliminated. Micro-distilleries can now offer visitors a taste of their products, and sell limited quantities for carryout. Many of the new manufacturers are local businesses operated by Ohio artisans, passionate about their craft and want to share it with niche audiences looking for unique, quality products. Some prefer to use locally-sourced agricultural ingredients in their products, creating a secondary market for local growers.
Craft Breweries (A-1 Permit): Small craft breweries no longer need an additional and expensive permit to sell their products by the glass at their facility. Draft beer can be sold for carryout in “growlers” (a one gallon reusable glass container) by grocery and convenience stores that hold permits to sell tasting samples.
Contract Liquor Agencies: Many contract liquor agencies can host events offering limited tasting samples of spirituous liquor, providing a venue for manufacturers to introduce new products to customers in a safe, controlled environment.
Permit Transfers: Businesses designated as economic development projects can now more easily obtain retail licenses with the elimination of restrictions on permit transfers.
By taking a fresh look at regulations and our operations, Ohio is a leader and example of what government can do to affect positive change and help improve the economic future for its stakeholders. In the coming year, we look forward to working with JobsOhio as the state’s liquor profits are used to bring jobs to Ohio. Business friendly regulations, managing alcohol consumption with safety in mind and our commitment to excellent customer service will help create jobs and keep Ohio moving in the right direction.
Cassandra C. Skinnerlopata, Chair, Oregon Liquor Control Commission
Oregon’s liquor system supports small, local, independent business owners; creates jobs; and keeps the money Oregonians spend on distilled spirits in Oregon to support our local economy. In addition, we value public safety and support strong liquor enforcement to protect minors and prevent over consumption.
Oregon businesses manufacture a great selection of wine, beer and distilled spirits. Just as the Oregon wineries grew in the 1970’s, Oregon’s brewers expanded in the 1990’s. Now, Oregon’s distillers are experiencing that same type of momentum. OLCC carries more than 400 Oregon distilled spirits products from approximately 50 Oregon distillers. Twelve percent of annual liquor sales come from Oregon’s distilled spirits.
The sale of distilled spirits makes up more than 95% of the gross revenue the OLCC collects. Over the last two years, the Commission distributed more than $370 million to the state, cities and counties that helped support critical programs like education, healthcare, police and fire.
Since June 1, 2012, when deregulation went into effect in Washington, Oregon’s liquor stores along the Washington border have seen an average 35% increase in sales compared to June 2011. Some stores are experiencing more than a 50% growth. Although we do not track who makes the purchase, it is possible that Washingtonians are traveling to Oregon for significantly lower prices on distilled spirits as well as Oregon’s great selection. The OLCC warehouse carries over 1,600 different products every day, which are available at all liquor stores across the state. Although there are now thousands more businesses selling distilled spirits in Washington, the vast majority are only carrying a few hundred products. We feel we do a great job of offering a wide variety of local and specialty products that is good for both the customer and the Oregon businesses that produce them.
The 249 Oregon liquor stores are not run by state employees. Since the mid 1980’s, Oregon’s retail liquor stores have been operated by privately contracted small business owners who employ over 1,000 employees statewide.
OLCC takes a moderate approach to expanding access to distilled spirits. While the Commission looks for ways to improve customer service and convenience, reducing alcohol sales to minors and visibly intoxicated people are the OLCC’s top public safety priorities.
OLCC strives to help businesses be successful both in terms of selling alcohol responsibly as well as making a profit. We believe there is a healthy relationship between alcohol service, business revenue, and community livability. For example, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest discovered that they made more profit when alcohol was not the main focus of the event. When they de-emphasized drinking, more families returned to the event and spent more money. The event was a success both in terms of profit and enhancing community livability.
A few tools we offer to assist licensees are a free ID checking class, the Responsible Vendor Program, the option to purchase Age Verification Equipment in lieu of fines/suspensions on a first offense, and the First Call Program - designed to help businesses get started on the right foot by helping them avoid the most common mistakes. At the OLCC, we would rather see licensees invest their money into improving their business and hiring employees than spending it to pay fines for violations that could have been avoided.
OLCC places high priority on responsibility; emphasis on revenue generation is secondary. Education, underage drinking prevention, and responsible alcohol sales and service are all at the heart of everything we do.
Stephanie M. O’Brien, Chair, Vermont Department of Liquor Control
Probably the most significant change to the Department this year has been the expansion of the Liquor Control Board. The Liquor Board was recently expanded from three members to five, as the result of a bill passed during the 2012 legislative session.
Our newest Members include Melissa Mazza from Essex Junction, a bookkeeper who has grown up in her family’s retail beverage business. Melissa’s father, Senator Richard Mazza, is a long-time liquor agent from Colchester and is a State Senator. Tom Gallagher, a bank president from St. Albans, is very well known in his community, with a long history of dairy farming in his family. Julian Sbardella, from Fair Haven, recently retired from Southern Wine and Spirits New England. Julian had numerous years in the spirits industry working for a variety of companies and was once a licensee in New York State. John Cassarino, Member from Rutland since 2007, is the former Mayor of Rutland, a city in southern Vermont. In 1965, John founded a soup kitchen feeding the hungry and homeless in his area, and still cooks there from time to time. I, Stephanie O’Brien of South Burlington, am the Board Chair and NABCA Director. I was appointed to the board in 2007, bringing my experience and real estate background. This great mix of people, with experience in all facets of business, will help set the agenda for the department’s strategic plan.
Listing/De-Listing issues are a front burner issue for the Department. The Department, which reviews and considers new products at least every other month, is struggling to find room in both the Liquor Warehouse and Agency stores to accommodate the deluge of innovative products being introduced into the marketplace. Evaluating criteria for listings from the industry and expanding the Listing Committee were important steps in deciding the merits of listing individual products. A resort industry licensee and a high end on-premise licensee were added to the committee for more input. In addition, tastings were added to better evaluate the products for potential listing. Gross profit thresholds are also being evaluated for de-listings. And finally, the markup is being simplified from its current conversion to one that is more streamlined and easily amended for future needs.
DLC is experiencing its 16th straight year of growth in sales dollars. In Fiscal year 2012, sales reached $65,428,514; this represents a 6.41% ($3.9 million) increase over FY2011 figures.
The Department and Board have made an investment in responsible marketing by way of various publications that give the consumer information on product knowledge, store locations and, the licensees who also sell our products. Vermont Life Magazine, a well known national magazine, features Vermont made products by our instate distillers. And, the Vermont Vacation Guide lists all store locations; it is strategically placed throughout the state including our state welcome/rest areas.
Modernization efforts by the Department are a significant focus of our current strategic plan, an ongoing living document that will guide the department for the next 5 years. The RFP for the Enterprise Resource Planning/Point of Service (ERP/POS) project for the agency stores and office systems will be issued this September. The Warehouse Management System (WMS) will realize some additional software enhancements this fall. The Department’s on-line educational seminar program will soon update its format, and negotiate with a new vendor. Online license renewal is being evaluated to more efficiently manage the 8,000 permits and licenses the Department issues annually. An analysis of agency store locations, and the criteria used to locate them, is being completed and will be presented to the Liquor Board this fall. The Board and Department are looking at opportunities in the Jay Peak area of the state. This geographical area has expanded due to a recent influx of money through the EB5 federal investment program run by the US Citizenship Immigration Service. The Jay Peak resort is growing rapidly, with many consumers traveling to the U.S. from Canada.
Undercover investigations have kept the Enforcement division busy as it focuses on over serving of patrons. This work is critical in keeping our roads safe from individuals who make bad decisions. The Enforcement division was recently acknowledged for its work with various Federal agencies with respect to drug activity on licensed premises in the southern part of our state. This ongoing undertaking, dubbed “Operation Fed Up”, utilizes the skill of DLC’s Enforcement division to significantly support the efforts of federal and state agencies to eliminate this illegal activity.
Alcohol and Tobacco Education continues to be a very important part of DLC’s mission. The department is now offering an on-line certification program for both on and off premise licensees and their employees. The department is also working with the FDA in contracting for tobacco compliance tests for the upcoming year.
Act 115: Allows for a commercial caterer’s license to be issued, a retailer of wine to export beverages out of state, tasting permit changes, outside consumption permit changes, and expansion of the Liquor Control Board from three to five members.
Act 166: Updates a variety of tobacco laws regarding e-cigarettes, pack sizes, tobacco paraphernalia, and new signage warning that sales to minors is prohibited.
In summary, the Department is very excited about the upcoming year with an economic climate that is improving, modernization efforts moving forward, and an expanded Liquor Board that is forward thinking and ready to tackle all the important issues that present themselves as part of a growing industry.
Joseph “Skip” Brion, Chairman, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
In these difficult economic times, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board experienced continued growth in 2011-2012. The agency sales topped $1.657 billion, a 5.5% increase over last year. As a result of our increased revenue, the agency was able to transfer $80 million to Pennsylvania’s General Fund.
The PLCB continues to focus on better and more personal customer service through the opening of rebranded stores in communities across Pennsylvania. Each new store provides a more open, friendly and consumer-oriented environment. And in an effort to reach our digitally-minded customers, we launched digital iPhone and Android applications which allow users to browse nearly 40,000 products by availability, type or price, as well as see monthly sale items and Chairman’s Selection deals. Users can add products to a wish list and by registering can purchase any of the roughly 2,500 products available online. Consumers can also find the closest store and get directions.
Throughout the course of the past year, the agency worked to install a new point-of-sale system in each of our more than 600 stores and successfully completed the project in February. The new equipment ensures we have the most efficient sales and returns possible for our consumers and allows us to scan receipts, allow consumers to see prices as they ring up and also hold all the transaction information from each of our stores in one central database. This will enable us to analyze it to better serve our consumers’ needs.
While our retail side flourishes, we remain committed to regulating our more than 18,000 licensees, promoting responsible consumption, and educating all licensees as well as the general public. By returning more than $4.5 million dollars in licensing fees annually, the PLCB continues to reinvest in local communities all across the commonwealth. Through our Bureau of Alcohol Education, the agency distributed more than $1 million in grants to prevent underage consumption. To broaden the reach of our message, we continue working on new creative elements for our “Call the Shots” statewide advertising campaign targeting people 21-29 years old; those old enough to drink but those who don’t always do so responsibly. We are also working on a campaign developed in part by teenagers for parents and their peers to be utilized at the local level to generate thought and discussion among families about the role alcohol plays in their lives. We believe in the power of our message and hope it resonates with the public and our consumers.
Recently, there have been discussions to privatize the control state system. Clearly, to privatize or not is an important policy decision which will be decided by the legislature and the governor. We will continue to act as a resource to the policymakers to make sure they have all the information they need to act on this important matter. However, while privatization is determined we will continue to focus on providing consumers with the most convenient shopping experience we can in the most efficient way possible. We are here to serve the citizens of the commonwealth.
J. Neal Insley, Chairman, Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Fiscal Year 2012 marked another record year for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)’s Retail Operations Division. Preliminary figures indicate this year ended with $734 million in gross sales, $41 million higher than last year, and $24 million higher than the projected $710 million target. Retail dollars are up 6.5 percent and mixed beverage licensee dollars are up 4.9 percent. Three new stores that opened this year generated a total of $1,184,524 in sales.
Commitment to public safety dictates selling responsibly and according to the law. Vigilance by ABC sales associates resulted in an impressive 99 percent compliance rate, up from 98 percent last fiscal year. ABC store employees conduct approximately 2.2 million ID challenges annually while providing service to 27 million buying customers. Accepting donations at the POS register from customers for the Disaster Relief Fund brought in approximately $188,000 for Virginia tornado victims.
ABC established a Product Management Committee to enhance the agency’s abilities to identify and react to rapid changes in the marketplace. The committee established a Supplier Advisory Committee to capture crucial input from vendors. Vendors and brokers are also receiving a new Industry Matters Board communiqué.
The agency’s first “.com” website (spiritedentertaining.com), featuring drink recipes and hosting tips, was launched as a first step in increasing consumer-oriented product knowledge offerings.
The Board implemented a reward and recognition program that rewards stores for attainment of exceptional audit reviews utilizing a 125-step program that measures compliance with store operating procedures. A total of 76 stores were recognized this fiscal year.
ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement investigations continue to gain in complexity. Activities involving illegal distilleries, nip joints, human trafficking, gangs and problem establishments are being investigated statewide.
A Special Operations Unit that serves as a coordinator and command structure for large scale and inter-regional operations was developed. Special Operations established a gang unit to aid in the identification, intelligence gathering and participation in operations concerning criminal street and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
ABC special agents are committed to working with the more than 17,000 licensees and providing compliance training through responsible sellers and servers and manager’s alcohol responsibility training. In addition to tips on recognizing fake IDs and avoiding sales to underage and intoxicated patrons, a module is being developed to train licensees on vigilance against gangs attempting to infiltrate licensed entities.
The bureau began centralizing the retail license application process to reduce processing time and make the initial phase consistent for all applicants statewide. Centralization is scheduled to launch early next fiscal year.
ABC’s alcohol education team launched the first ever College Tour, partnering with universities across the state to host a series of one-day regional forums. The Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) attracted hundreds of high school leaders dedicated to making a difference in their schools, and Alcohol and Aging Awareness Group (AAAG) continues to provide solutions to substance misuse problems facing older Americans.
Development and implementation of the Leadership and Management Program (LAMP) was a highlight of this fiscal year. The program is designed to build leadership skills and to capture and retain institutional knowledge through its mentoring piece.
Commissioner Bryan M. Rhode was appointed by Governor Robert F. McDonnell in April 2012. He joins Commissioner Sandra C. Canada and me, leading ABC in fulfilling its control, service and revenue mission.
Ron Moats, Commissioner, West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) reported another prosperous year for spirit sales in West Virginia. When fiscal year 2012 ended on June 30th, sales totaled $88,838,278.00, up 4.6% over the previous fiscal year. This accounted for 692,170 cases shipped, up 22,762 cases or 3.4%.
The upward trend in sales is attributed to maintaining a vibrant portfolio of our products which meets consumer demands, hosting a successful Trade Show and ongoing enhancements to our “government to business” web portal. The 2011 Trade Show provided the perfect opportunity for distillers and brokers to connect with retailers to introduce new products and reinforce existing product lines. During the Trade Show, the 178 West Virginia retail outlets were given discounts and allowed to order Value Added Packs (VAPs) for the holidays. This two day event resulted in $8,371,840.92 in total net sales and $566,165.26 in retail outlet discounts.
Modernization of the Distribution Center is a priority project for the WVABCA and is a contributing reason for the increased volume and sales. The agency has purchased a generator to ensure that products can be shipped and received during inclement weather and has made repairs to the docking area. Further modernization plans are underway to replace the lighting which will reduce operating expenses and allow the Center to operate more efficiently. The new lighting system will yield at 100% Return on Investment (ROI) in three years. Additionally, processing orders electronically via the web promotes greater accuracy and flexibility.
Internal improvement and modernization is not limited to the Distribution Center. Recent updates to the web portal include improvements in inventory tracking and bailment reports. The agency is in the process of integrating a new licensing software system and E-licensing will be available soon. The new E-licensing system will allow on-line license renewals. This process will promote greater efficiency within several departments at the new ABCA Headquarters and will allow the Enforcement Unit field staff greater access to licensing files. Communication with the field staff will also be enhanced with new iPhones and two-way radio service which will enable direct connection to 911 services.
Two bills impacting the WVABCA have recently passed. House Bill 3174 took effect on June 8, 2012 and allows for sampling to occur at Class A (free standing) retail liquor outlets. Upon approval from the WVACBA, a retail liquor outlet may hold a tasting event. Patrons are limited to one sample of distilled spirits not to exceed one ounce and three samples of beer (assorted brands) not to exceed two ounces per sample. The second bill, House Bill 4376 took effect on March 8, 2012 and allows wine consumption at specified professional league affiliated baseball parks.
The WVABCA remains committed to better serving our customers and employees. Success starts with our people and over the course of the last year key positions have been filled. Since the last update, the agency has hired a new Deputy Commissioner; Erin Brewster joined the WVABCA in January 2012 and will focus much of her attention on the operations at the Distribution Center.
The 79 employees at the WVABCA look forward to another successful year.
Ed Schmidt, Director, Wyoming Department of Revenue
The Wyoming Liquor Division (WLD) contributed a record high of $14,289,433 to the State’s General Fund in FY 2012, despite the fact that the division incurred significant additional expenditures for its move into the new warehouse facility.
During FY 2012 a total of 872,432 cases were sold. This is a 4.36% increase over FY 2011 sales. The FY 2012 dollar amount of cases sold was $92,066,007 for a 6.77% increase from FY 2011. Fortunately these sales trends indicate that the Liquor/Wine industry in Wyoming continues to grow and prosper. Wyoming has a robust economy and a low unemployment rate (5.3%). The State’s General Fund is still healthy but is experiencing some downturn due to low natural gas prices and State Agencies have been asked to prepare 8% budget cuts in the event that gas prices do not rebound.
The WLD has experienced little pressure regarding the privatization issues that have plagued some of our sister control states. We believe this is primarily because Wyoming is a control state at the wholesale level only. In that regard the WLD has delivered unprecedented service to its vendors statewide, including a state-of-the-art E-Liquor ordering system, 24 hour delivery service anywhere in the state from order entry and providing split case service on virtually all products.
Liquor Division Warehouse and IT Department
The WLD’s move to a new, temperature-controlled, 145,000 square-foot warehouse facility was completed in February, 2012. The move was completed with minimal disruption to our deliveries and we experienced only three days of down time. The new facility is significantly larger and conveniently located near Interstate 80, east of Cheyenne. The Administration Building has approximately 15,000 square feet of newly constructed offices for Division staff, a pleasant customer reception area and houses a 50 seat, multi-purpose conference room to be used for staff training, industry rep meetings and TIPS training. The conference room has spacious classroom-style seating and cutting edge audio visual technology which is being used by all divisions of the Department of Revenue as well as other State agencies.
The warehouse is approximately 145,000 square feet and has 17 dock doors and significantly more space for parking and receiving trucks. The additional warehouse space allows for separate receiving and shipping areas, additional square footage for more “push back racking,” a separate split case-conveyor picking line, and a “pick-to-voice” paperless, computerized pick ticket system.
The Regulatory Section of the Wyoming Liquor Division has three main functions, enforcement of Wyoming’s alcohol beverage control laws, review of all liquor licensing and serves as a resource to local licensing authorities in alcohol education which can be anything from alcohol server training to the training of city and county clerks and their staffs in licensing and alcohol law.
In FY12 the regulatory agents completed over 2201 on-site, unannounced inspections. The compliance rate for FY2012 inspections was 93.9%. The Liquor Division once again partnered with the Wyoming State Liquor Association in providing alcohol server training utilizing the TIPS program. This collaboration trained 2358 students in FY2012 which is well over the goal of 1750 students trained per year. Regulatory agents reviewed over 1505 retail liquor license applications that were eventually issued or renewed by local licensing authorities. In addition the division’s agents also reviewed and processed well over 850 applications that included direct shippers, industry representatives, malt beverage wholesalers, manufacturers and charter transportation.
In FY2012, 5166 invoices for the wine/direct ship program were also processed.