RELEASE: Mass. Consumers Favor Retailer-Backed Coupons and Customer Loyalty Programs for Beer, Wine
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New Survey: Mass. Consumers Favor Retailer-Backed Coupons and Customer Loyalty Programs for Beer, Wine and Spirits
Massachusetts consumers overwhelmingly support measures to modernize the state’s alcohol laws to promote savings and better serve consumers
Boston, Mass. (June 14, 2018) – Massachusetts consumers overwhelmingly support a variety of measures to update the Commonwealth’s alcohol laws in a way that promotes value and better serves consumers, according to a new survey by Consumers First.
Nearly 77 percent of Massachusetts consumers believe the Commonwealth’s alcohol laws are in need of updating. Those surveyed were also asked to indicate their support of or opposition to a variety of current or proposed regulations relating to the sale of beer, wine and spirits in Massachusetts.
Consumers First conducted the online survey of 217 respondents.
Significantly, approximately 87 percent of consumers surveyed are opposed to laws that prohibit beer, wine and spirits retailers from offering coupons that can be used to receive discounts on purchases as part of a bona fide loyalty program or for other legitimate business purposes. Of those, 69 percent are strongly opposed.
Under current law, retailers in Massachusetts are free to reduce the retail price of alcoholic beverage products so long as the sale price is not below wholesale cost. Yet, retailers in Massachusetts cannot offer coupons to consumers allowing them to receive discounts on these products, even where the final coupon price to the consumer exceeds wholesale cost. Most states allow retailer-backed coupons for beer, wine and spirits to be used to reward loyal customers and provider greater value to consumers.
“Giving Massachusetts consumers better access to discounts is good for the customer,” said Mike Sherry, a spokesman for Consumers First. “Retailer-backed coupons and loyalty programs are critical features in virtually every other retail sector. It’s time beer, wine and spirits customers were treated just as fairly when it comes to earning discounts.”
Consumers also oppose a number of provisions that would increase the cost of purchasing beer, wine and spirts, while they support measures to boost the state’s craft beer industry. Eighty percent of consumers surveyed oppose a proposal that would increase the excise tax on beer, wine and spirits. In addition, 70 percent of consumers surveyed oppose provisions that prohibit retailers from passing along discounts to consumers that they receive from wholesale bulk buying. Eighty-five percent of consumers support loosening restrictions between beer distributors and producers so that beer producers have more flexibility to sell their products.
Consumers surveyed are also largely unaware that the Commonwealth created a task force in 2017 to consider updates to the state’s alcohol beverage laws. Just 26 percent of consumers were aware of the Alcohol Task Force, which was charged with reviewing the laws and regulations that govern the state’s alcohol industry. Instead of taking the opportunity to address outdated laws, such as the one that prohibits retailer backed coupons for beer, wine and spirits, the Task Force recommended an increase in the excise tax paid on these beverages.
The Consumers First initiative provides information and advocates for policies that enhance the state’s alcohol beverage industry and promote savings and other benefits to consumers in Massachusetts. For more information about the Consumers First Initiative, visit massconsumersfirst.com. You can also like the campaign on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
About Consumers First
The Consumers First initiative was created to provide information and advocacy to enhance the beer, wine and spirits industry in Massachusetts. Consumers First is committed to creating more opportunities for savings, and a better retail experience for all beer, wine and spirits customers.