RELEASE: Consumers First Coalition Urges Support for ‘Speliotis Amendment’ Allowing Alcohol Retailer
Measure would bring Massachusetts alcohol policy in line with other states, industries
Boston, Mass. (July 9, 2018) – Consumers First - a coalition of retailers, consumers and other stakeholders in the alcohol beverage industry – urged support today for a measure that would allow alcohol retailers to issue savings coupons directly to consumers.
The measure – which was filed by Rep. Theodore Speliotis as an amendment to the Economic Development Bill being debated by the Massachusetts Legislature – would allow alcohol retailers to issue coupons to customers for the purchase of alcoholic beverages at discounted prices, provided the final sales price doesn’t go below the retailer’s actual cost.
“This is common-sense reform that would have a direct and immediate positive impact on beer, wine and spirits consumers because it will save them real money,” said Edward Cooper, Vice President, Public Affairs for Total Wine & More – a founding member of Consumers First. “Rep. Speliotis clearly has the best interests of Massachusetts consumers in mind. We urge other lawmakers to join him in supporting this initiative.”
Retailer-backed coupons are a common feature of the shopping experience in just about every segment of the retail business sector. Restrictions on alcohol retailers, however, fall under an outdated set of laws governing the industry in Massachusetts – some dating as far back as Prohibition. As a result, shopping for beer, wine and spirits in Massachusetts is more complicated and expensive than it has to be. Retailers near the border with other states also lose revenues to competitors in other states with no such restrictions.
“Sometimes it can be hard to know what the public wants, but in this case the answer is clear,” said Anthony Conte, a Town Meeting member in Winchester and former Revere city councilor who is a member of the Consumers First coalition. “Massachusetts voters want the same options given to shoppers in other states - the chance to use retail promotions like coupons to make their shopping experience more affordable and convenient.”
The proposed legislative amendment comes on the heels of a recent Consumers First survey, which revealed that 87 percent of Massachusetts consumers surveyed opposed the restriction on retailer-backed coupons for beer, wine and spirits.
“This problem now has a solution, and it’s the Speliotis Amendment,” said Mike Sherry, a spokesman for Consumers First. “Massachusetts customers deserve access to the best possible prices on beer, wine and spirits. We are now one step closer to seeing that happen.”
About Consumers First
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.