Package Deal to End Blue Laws Could Squash 'Price-Fixing'

Connecticut currently uses a price posting system to enforce uniform pricing, but that could end if Sunday alcohol sales begin.

As the Nutmeg State prepares to overhaul its , the Connecticut Package Store Association (CPSA) warned of a big-box invasion.

Because wrapped in is a proposal to end a decades-long practice of what some legislators are calling price-fixing.

Connecticut uses a price posting system to enforce uniform pricing. Distributors must offer the same price to all retailers and publically post those prices. Distributors can't offer quantity discounts to retailers. 

"I have to say that except for about five in 200, people are in favor of Sunday sales, but I don't think people understood this was a package deal," said state Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford).

The CPSA represents more than 1,000 of the state's package stores. It said ending price floors would mean thousands of lost jobs. The group initially opposed Sunday sales, but overwhelming support caused them to retreat.

Instead they worry ending price floors will give chain stores and supermarkets an unfair advantage when purchasing alcohol because they can buy in bulk and sell at steep discounts. Smaller stores won't be able to compete, they testified in a recent public hearing.

However, rather than legislate a price floor, Rose said it's up to people whether they will shop at local mom-and-pop stores or big chain stores.

"There is no other industry where we set prices," she said. "We don't tell people how to price milk."

On another matter, Rose will testify at a public hearing on March 6 regarding legislation she introduced to ban the sale of tobacco-related products to minors.

The proposed legislation will make it illegal for stores to sell rolling paper and other related products to minors.

Would you pay more to support a local liquor store? Tell us in the comments.

Jason Bagley March 05, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Here are a few comments coming from Stratford Patch Facebookland. They are answers to: Would you pay a higher price for liquor just to support a mom-and-pop? Chris Lemos Sure: "I already do. The mom and pop shops often carry specialty items a big box store isnt going to have. Plus my mom and pop store will special order stuff for me." Ariana Rawls Fine: "Absolutely agree. Box stores think in the box so my specialty beers will come from the out-of-boxer mom-n-pops!" Like us: http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
Rashomon March 06, 2012 at 06:11 PM
It's one of those things - if I have to pay more for gas, I'll pay less for beer and wine - everybody wants to take but nobody is giving me anything back - it is what it is.
Jason Bagley March 06, 2012 at 07:05 PM
A couple more comments left on the Stratford Patch Facebook page: Allison Longo-Taccogna: "Problem is that the way the new law is written, the mom and pop shops arent going to be able to keep up...." Edward Goodrich: "It will be cheaper only in the beginning, then they will raise prices once they drive the little guy out. Our town and state will become Pottersville as we drive the personable mom and pop out. Connecticut is a quaint New England state. Look at the border towns in New York. You know when you are leaving CT. The bigger issue is jobs. This is a ruse." http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
nick April 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
better hope bevmo does not open in ct....ck out www.bevmo.com and you will not believe the prices and selection......like a full size superwallmart but all alchohol.....would sure eliminate the price gougeing that goes on in ct.....have hundreds of stores/west


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