Total Wine wins legal case against state regulator The Drinks Business

The Maryland-based alcohol retailer, which sells wine in 20 states and has ambitious plans to grow its estate from 162 shops now to around 200 by 2018, was given several day-license suspensions by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in January for allegedly selling spirits below cost price.

State regulators maintained the practise is prohibited in Massachusetts, in order to prevent excessive drinking and “predatory” pricing, however the retailer challenged the decision in court, claiming that it had qualified for savings from its wholesales by bulk buying and therefore reflected the true cost of the alcohol.

However last week a judge in the Suffolk Superior Court in Boston ruled in favour of Total Wine & More, The Boston Globe reported, allowing alcohol retailers to discount booze that they buy in bulk, effectively passing on the savings to their consumers.

The retailer has previously succeeded in challenging state restrictions on alcohol sales in other states, including discounting in Maryland, a cap on the number of licenses an alcohol retailer can have in South Carolina, and closing times in Connecticut.

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Total Wine wins legal case against state regulator.