Archive for the ‘In My Opinion’ Category

Time to Rehab Our State’s Liquor Stores

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Dear Washington State Liquor Stores,

You might think that we love you since last week we voted down two initiatives that would put you out of business. You would be wrong.

I know, there are lots of reasons that Initiatives 1100 and 1105 were shot down: bad timing to eliminate state revenue during budget cutbacks, mass Four Loko hysteria, dislike of the manner of privatization, and maybe some voters who do believe that liquor sales are an essential state function.  But I doubt the election was the end of this issue. If you want to get off voters’/drinkers’ shit lists, here are some ideas:

  1. Stop grudgingly selling us alcohol. Prohibition is over and gone. Embrace the fact that liquor sales are your mission and do a better job. Don’t make a local limoncello producer wait two years to get shelf space. Is the local limoncello somehow more dangerous than others (you know, ‘cause of all the kids getting whacked on limoncello)?  That Smirnoff section is wide and deep – skooch it over and make some room there.
  2. Maybe you can’t stock all the varieties of liquor at every single store, because there are a crazy number of labels out there. But why not sprinkle some expansive “boutique” liquor stores around? Not just a store or two in Seattle that caters to restaurants, but try to have one in most geographic and population centers at least.
  3. Shrink those large bottles. When many specialty liqueurs come in 375 ml bottles, why do you just stock the much pricier 750 ml? I’m not keen to lay out $67 for a large bottle of yellow chartreuse when I don’t even know yet if I like it. A little liqueur goes a long way; save the jumbo sizes for Cuervo and the like.
  4. Allow special orders with no minimum. I want one bottle of a special crème de violette, not six. And shorten delivery time – why should it take 12 weeks when a regular internet order from an East Coast site ships within days?
  5. Add some extra accoutrements and ingredients for cocktail making. Even the most skeevy convenience store manages to display a few limes near the Corona, so why don’t you? Limes, lemons, packaged mint – these types of produce are not horribly perishable and are essential in many drinks. Add a display of cocktail shakers, muddlers, shot glasses and the like while you’re at it. Oh, and let’s not forget bitters. Ironically, bitters DO contain alcohol and yet I’m lucky to find even one type at most liquor stores. Guess what, WSLS: cocktails are largely, but not only, about the booze. Help us out and gain some sales at the same time.
  6. I don’t care if you card me (at 40 I know it is a CYA move for you), but don’t look at me suspiciously when I’m shopping. Yes, I really do have a right to be in the store, and no, I’m not going to go drink this in my car.
  7. Seattle is gaining a huge name for itself in the worlds of mixology. Jump on the bandwagon. Maybe you can’t finance any cocktail creating/making events, but you surely could facilitate them. Grab some of those young, talented mixologists and let them help you spread the word about responsible, tasteful drinking. Then you reap the subsequent sales and voters reap the subsequent revenue.

Please rehab your image and customer service now, and maybe your employees won’t be losing their jobs at the next election.

Cheers, ICE