Wegmans' successful supermarkets are known for their extraordinary variety and vastness. But there's one thing they no longer have room for: the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
The New York-based chain recently asked the state beverage ministry to remove its Orwellian wine vending machines from the company's stores within 30 days. Even for a venture as obviously misguided as the LCB's foray into automated alcohol sales, Wegmans' rejection was startling in its fervor and finality - a real business' devastating verdict on the liquor agency's latest attempt to mimic one.
Wegmans found that the so-called wine kiosks not only fell short of their stated goal of improving customer convenience, but also appeared to be doing actual harm to the rest of the grocer's business. In a letter to the LCB, a company official said the vending machines "in some ways have been detrimental to our stores."