Wegmans Opting out of Pa. Wine Kiosk Program

Wegmans Food Markets will no longer be taking part in the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) wine kiosk program, according to published reports.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans sent a letter to the PLCB on May 31 requesting to have the wine vending machines removed from its 10 Pennsylvania stores within 30 days, board spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman confirmed to The Morning Call, a newspaper serving Allentown and the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.

In the letter, Craig Hoffman, Wegmans’ SVP for operations in Pennsylvania, wrote that the kiosks were reliable and the source of numerous customer complaints, The Associated Press reported.

The program will continue without Wegman’s participation, according to Kriedeman. “We will continue to move forward and focus on the 22 kiosks still in operation [without Wegmans] to ensure they provide the customer service our consumers expect,” she told The Morning Call. Additionally, big-box retailer Walmart is slated to roll out the kiosks at 23 of its Pennsylvania locations this summer.

Since their rollout in supermarkets last summer, the kiosks have proved problematic. The PLCB suspended the program statewide in December to look into reports of mechanical issues and dispensing system mistakes. After vendor Simple Brands, based in Conshohocken, Pa., made adjustments to the kiosks, the program resumed early in 2011.

The PLCB also recently said that it would introduce a pilot program to feature hard liquor in some of the kiosks in the near future.

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