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Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Releases Annual Report

11/05/2020

​Comprehensive document details agency operations and sales trends

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today released its Fiscal Year 2019-20 Annual Report, which details agency operations, sales trends, popular products, and financial results. This year’s report also details how the COVID-19 pandemic affected PLCB operations and sales.

The annual report, in its eighth year, reviews the agency’s financials and provides insight into functions including store operations, licensing, marketing and merchandising, supply chain, wholesale operations, information technology, alcohol education, and personnel. The document is filled with statistics and information shedding light on how the agency works and where the money it generates goes.

The annual report also showcases sales by product category, individual products, counties, e-commerce, stores, and sales periods. For example:

  • E-commerce sales in fiscal year 2019-20 totaled $26.8 million for 1.3 million units, a 436.9% increase in dollar sales and an 851.9% increase in unit sales over the prior year’s online sales of $5 million and 135,776 units.
  • Box wine dollar sales in 2019-20 of $128.4 million grew $4.5 million or 3.6% over 2018-19, largely because holders of wine expanded permits continued to buy box wines from the PLCB (and subsequently sell at retail) while FW&GS stores were temporarily closed in support of coronavirus mitigation efforts.
  • Unflavored vodka was the top spirits category in 56 counties, while American whiskey was the top-selling category in 11 counties.
  • California cabernet sauvignon was the top wine category in 30 counties, while another 30 counties had box red wine as the top wine category; California chardonnay followed in four counties, and beverage wine followed in three.
  • Sales in Allegheny, Philadelphia, and Montgomery counties – the top-ranking three counties by dollar sales – accounted for almost 35% of statewide sales.

Additional highlights of the 2019-20 Annual Report include:

  • A one-page summary showing distribution of PLCB funds to various recipients. More than $745.1 million was distributed to the Pennsylvania General Fund and state and local government beneficiaries in fiscal year 2019-20.
  • A two-page timeline highlighting key operational impacts related to COVID-19.
  • A summary of Fine Wine & Good Spirits store operations, including store renovation efforts and celebrity events.
  • Information on permits issued and sales to holders of wine expanded permits, which authorize the sale of wine to go by private retailers.  
  • A breakdown of almost 79,000 liquor license and permit applications processed and more than 8,300 investigations completed, as well as a breakout of licenses by county.
  • A summary of alcohol education efforts to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking, including the agency’s award-winning Know When. Know How.SM campaign.
  • Sales information and trends by product and category, including top-selling spirits and wines by county.
  • Store-by-store sales and a dedicated section on sales of Pennsylvania-made wines and spirits.
  • A list of recipients of more than $2.2 million in grants that support Pennsylvania’s wine and beer industries.

To save on costs, a limited number of copies of the report is printed. This report – and reports from previous years – are available at lcb.pa.gov.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $17.9 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shawn M. Kelly, 717.303.8522

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