New proposal offers NY wine stores a transition period

Key players in Albany are seeking to break the impasse over wine retailing reform in New York State according to one retailer who was contacted.

Daniel Posner, managing partner at Grapes the Wine Company in White Plains, NY, tweeted about the new proposal. Reached for comment, he says that he received a call today from legislative negotiators floating these new proposals. Two calls to Albany were not returned.

According to Posner, the new proposal would offer existing retailers two “medallions,” requisite to maintain or obtain a license for wine retailing. The first medallion would be for their existing store. Shop owners could do what they wish with the second, including use it to obtain a license on a second store as the current ban on owning multiple licenses would be lifted. They could also sell it to another party, including a supermarket, to apply for a wine retail license.

This would effectively cap the number of new licenses to only double the amount of existing stores, currently 2,400 in the state. This medallion period would be a transition of three years before the market was further liberalized, phasing out the medallions.

“I think it’s hard for current shop owners to refuse this,” said Posner.

“The new proposal gives three years when a retailer could (a) open another store, (b) sell it to a supermarket and profit or (c) sit on it and wait,” he said. “They’re giving plenty of time for stores to react.”

Related: “Wine shops in states with supermarket sales – three views

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11 Responses to “New proposal offers NY wine stores a transition period”


  1. Great post; thanks for keeping us all in the loop. I linked to it and wrote more on winepolicy.com.


  2. This isn’t exactly a new proposal, this was included in the letter from late January that offered up ATMs, cigars, chips and soda.


  3. Josh,

    That is not true.

    The concept of selling a second medallion and not having supermarkets be able to get a new license for 3 years, without this medallion purchased from a current store, is brand new.

    I would love to hear reasons to oppose this new plan, from some of those that have a habit of “just say no.”


  4. Dan,

    The reason they will oppose it is: just say no.


  5. Dan,

    I wish I could locate my letter, but from the way you describe it, it sounds exactly like what I read in that letter.
    We get two medallions, you have to have a medallion to sell wine, stores can hold on to the medallion or sell it off. What’s different now from the original proposal?


  6. Josh

    I would love to see that letter. The proposed 3 year moratorium that a supermarket cannot get a license without buying a medallion is news to me.


  7. Dan,

    I’m not gunning for you, I’m just trying to figure out if there is something new happening. I assumed the letter we got went out to everyone. I do remember thinking the language that referenced the medallions was a little unclear so maybe the change is subtle.

    Josh


  8. It is a new proposal. The one from the Governor’s early letter was a medallion useful only to open another liquor store. THIS proposal would require grocery stores to purchase a medallion from a liquor store in order to be able to sell wine. As I see it, that’s cash in our pocket. Plus, there will only be 2700 or so new stores in the first three years as opposed to 19,000 potential competitors almost immediately. But this is real money on the table from my perspective. While selling other products is good for those who have the infrastructure, this proposal can mean a nice retirement, capital for improvements, a means to opening a second location. Plus, stores would control the growth of the market, and the price of the medallions. Count me in. It’s time to modernize, and if you can do it while giving me something of real value, then I like the idea better than what the Gov originally proposed, which didn’t have a lot there.


  9. Josh

    I know you are not gunning for me.

    As Charlie explains, this gives stores 3 years to decide what they want to do…
    1) Expand their biz
    2) Make some “free” money
    3) sit and wait

    Anyway you choose, there is a clear plan that shows that no store will close in the near future because of this, empty-handed. They can always sell both medallions, if that is the case.

    I would just like to hear someone say no and why.


  10. The medallions proposal got a more public airing in a recent letter from the Governor:
    http://bit.ly/9e3Tla


  11. Sources tell me that the people running Last Store on Main Street are very fearful at this point, because the latest proposal hsa serious merits and it is tough to argue against.

    Classic quote from the Last Store scholars…
    “Governor, you claim to understand our concerns about your job-killing plan,” the group called The Last Store On Main Street wrote in a response to Paterson. “Yet you come back with a proposal that amounts to sentencing us to death row and setting the date of execution for three years from now. In short, your ‘offer’ is just insulting.”


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