Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board issued a terse note to suppliers of wine and spirits that they were shutting down the Special Order program in Pennsylvania due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Special Order program, or “SLO,” was a mechanism in which suppliers could sell their wine and spirits to retailers across Pennsylvania. The retailers would have to make a Special Order to the State Store who, in turn, would order the requested products from the supplier and, ultimately, the retailer could pick up the special orders from it’s designated State Store. For some suppliers of spirits and wine, this was the only effective route to the Pennsylvania marketplace since the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board does not list all supplier spirit or wine offerings at the actual State Store locations. Instead, suppliers must follow a rigorous application of tasting in order to vie for a spot on a State Store shelf or “regular listing”.
This will have significant damaging effects on any suppliers relying upon the Special Order program in Pennsylvania in getting their products to Pennsylvania retailers and consumers.
For information regarding national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org); David C. Berger, Esquire (email@example.com) for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; or contact our offices at 610-391-1800.