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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011, Posted On: 9/1/2011

Wal-Mart Nixes Pennsylvania Wine Vending Deal

Emily Jed
vending, vending machine, wine vending machine, wine kioks, al-Mart Stores Inc., Walmart, Simple Brands, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, vending in Walmart, Pennsylvania wine kiosks

HARRISBURG, PA -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is canceling an agreement to install wine-vending machines in two dozen Pennsylvania stores after getting cold feet over controversy surrounding the state's yearlong wine vending experiment in grocery stores.

In a letter sent to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the retail giant cited "mechanical concerns" as the reason for its plan to pull out of a deal to install 23 state-controlled wine vending machines.

A lawyer representing Simple Brands of Conshohocken, PA, the contractor for the machines, said mechanical problems affected less than 0.5% of transactions.

The move also comes amid a financial dispute between the liquor board and Simple Brands | SEE STORY

Earlier this year, the Wegmans supermarket chain ended an agreement with the PLCB to sell wine through machines at 10 of its stores, citing problems with the machines and customer complaints. About 21 other machines are still operating in supermarkets throughout the state.

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