The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 21, 2013

Not a perfect system

Daily Item

---- — John Bouder refutes both the Aug. 8th Daily Item Editorial (Why Fix What Isn't Broken) and some simple facts. In June 2012, the state of Washington was the latest state to privatize their liquor stores and it has not been the panacea hoped for.

While you can say there is more choice for the customer due to more outlets being open, the fact is many times customers have to go to more than one store to find what they want. Why? Many people who buy stores can't afford the cost of inventory that state run stores can. So instead of 2,500 items in a store in many outlets there are 80-100. In addition, there has been an increase in pricing of 11 percent. There has also been an increase in thefts by perpetrators under 21 -- think about that folks -- and age compliance in stores has decreased.

They have suffered reverse border bleed. Sales in Idaho and Oregon have increased along the border of Washington due to lower taxes and prices.

Is our system perfect? What is? Several decisions were sketchy at best, but in most cases the mistakes were made in areas trying to help customer service, although I'll grant the kiosk experiment was foolish from the get go.

I was a licensee in the 1980s and early '90s and there was rarely a decision that tried to help the customer. Maybe Mr. Bouder is able to perceive a perfect system; I can't but if he is truly able to so prescient I would appreciate the winning lottery numbers rather than ill-informed opinion.

Harry Prentiss, Sunbury