PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Wine kiosks at the grocery store could be short-lived.
Wegmans, a major supermarket chain in the northeast, wants those kiosks out of their Pennsylvania stores back east.
Saying the kiosks often malfunctioned, Wegmans declared, “The kiosks have not realized their potential and in some ways have been detrimental to our stores.”
This decision means one-third of the liquor control board’s wine kiosks will be gone.
“We would have liked to have seen Wegmans continue as our partner in this program but moving forward we’ll focus on the other 22 locations that are still operational,” Stacey Witalec, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, said.
In this region, that includes Giant eagle where a spokesman tells me the kiosks will stay as a convenience to its customers.
But the kiosks have been problematic, breaking down from time to time.
When they do work, they require shoppers to blow into a breathalyzer, get their driver’s license scanned and face observed.
Only 82,500 bottles have been sold across Pennsylvania, less than $1 million worth of wine.
“We’re going to take a closer look at the program and really continue evaluating how we bring this convenience and value, along with selection, to our customers to make sure it’s exactly what they’re looking for,” Witalec said.
One piece of good news for the LCB: Walmart is negotiating with the state to add wine kiosks to 23 of its stores across the commonwealth.
It may be too early to judge whether customers view these wine kiosks as a more convenient alternative to their local neighborhood Wine and Spirits store. But one thing is sure — the Liquor Control Board hasn’t given up on the idea yet.