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Two-Headed Monster: Direct Shipping and Two-License Challenges Are At Hand

Posted on  | December 1, 2011   Bookmark and Share
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The NJLSA is sending out our annual membership dues to all current members as well as prospective NEW MEMBERS. If you are a retailer, these dues will be the best investment you can make to protect your business and livelihood in 2012. The future of your livelihood is on the line because substantial out-of-state resources are being used every day to undermine your business, while attempting to change or circumvent our State laws.

Back in 2010, the NJLSA took a much more aggressive stance toward protecting and defending our industry and businesses. It was clear that the out-of-state agendas supporting the Direct Shipping and Two-License challenges had merged and the result was a two-pronged strategy of manipulating public perception and leveraging special interest support to bolster political posturing. These out-of-state agendas have used public relations, consulting and lobbying firms as well as mass media and the Internet to create the inevitable perfect storm in the 2011 “Lame Duck” post-election session.

Déja Vu All Over Again

Unfortunately for our industry, the legislative fall-out from our recent election has all but guaranteed that we will be in for a real dog fight, with Assemblyman Louis Greenwald replacing Assemblyman Joseph Cryan as the Majority Leader. You do not need a compass to direct you to Ground Zero for our two major industry issues now that a legislative power vacuum has been plugged into the South Jersey political machine.

If we do not do our part right now, the entire foundation of our state-based alcohol industry will weaken and eventually free-fall through a funnel of failures reminiscent of what happened when two home improvement giants decimated New Jersey less than 20 years ago. More than 25% (1 in 4) of our licensees are currently on default with credit compliance and even more are expected to be added in January. Unfortunately, too few legislators that can recall how thousands of independent hardware stores, lumber yards and home-improvement businesses were decimated by two giant Tsunamis named Home Depot and Lowe’s.

We are now confronted with the onslaught of out-of-state one-stop shopping chains that are looking for alcohol sales to wash down the food sales they need help swallowing as they go from state to state pillaging like Vikings behind the façade of free trade and reform. Not a single package store owner will need a crystal ball to see the future if the out-of-state chains prevail and change our two-license limit law. The same would be true if the West Coast wineries were to prevail in all 50 states with Direct Shipping, because that’s when the full force of an F-5 Tornado that’s been bottled up would be UNCORKED!

The manipulation of the free trade crusade of the last decade sent our entire economy into the darkest age most of us have ever known. Yet, the exact same forces now have set their sights on our industry. Our industry represents the last front on a vast “one size fits all battlefield” that has consumed more jobs and produced more small business obituaries in the last 20 years than our nation created over the course of the last century.

Persistence Pays Off

The biggest reason for why the NJLSA has been able to prevail with our efforts in 2011 was because of the retailers and wholesalers who collectively stepped up and made countless calls to legislators and who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with their local and state officials. We will need and expect more of the same in 2012, in order for us to be able to sustain our progress. Many of you from South Jersey found out, first hand, that you can make a difference on the local front. I was very encouraged by the many meetings that I participated or was told about, where local retailers met with local legislators to discuss concerns about the gambit of proposed legislation.

If you are a retailer that has been sitting on the sidelines, expecting others to fight your battles for you, my advice to you is simple: NOW IS THE TIME TO GET ON THE PLAYING FIELD! Do not wait until it’s too late! Please join the NJLSA and help save your future…. All you have to do is fill out and send in the NJLSA Membership Application along with your payment!
The NJLSA is sending out our annual membership dues to all current members as well as prospective NEW MEMBERS. If you are a retailer, these dues will be the best investment you can make to protect your business and livelihood in 2012. The future of your livelihood is on the line because substantial out-of-state resources are being used every day to undermine your business, while attempting to change or circumvent our State laws.

Back in 2010, the NJLSA took a much more aggressive stance toward protecting and defending our industry and businesses. It was clear that the out-of-state agendas supporting the Direct Shipping and Two-License challenges had merged and the result was a two-pronged strategy of manipulating public perception and leveraging special interest support to bolster political posturing. These out-of-state agendas have used public relations, consulting and lobbying firms as well as mass media and the Internet to create the inevitable perfect storm in the 2011 “Lame Duck” post-election session.

Déja Vu All Over Again
Unfortunately for our industry, the legislative fall-out from our recent election has all but guaranteed that we will be in for a real dog fight, with Assemblyman Louis Greenwald replacing Assemblyman Joseph Cryan as the Majority Leader. You do not need a compass to direct you to Ground Zero for our two major industry issues now that a legislative power vacuum has been plugged into the South Jersey political machine.

If we do not do our part right now, the entire foundation of our state-based alcohol industry will weaken and eventually free-fall through a funnel of failures reminiscent of what happened when two home improvement giants decimated New Jersey less than 20 years ago. More than 25% (1 in 4) of our licensees are currently on default with credit compliance and even more are expected to be added in January. Unfortunately, too few legislators that can recall how thousands of independent hardware stores, lumber yards and home-improvement businesses were decimated by two giant Tsunamis named Home Depot and Lowe’s.

We are now confronted with the onslaught of out-of-state one-stop shopping chains that are looking for alcohol sales to wash down the food sales they need help swallowing as they go from state to state pillaging like Vikings behind the façade of free trade and reform. Not a single package store owner will need a crystal ball to see the future if the out-of-state chains prevail and change our two-license limit law. The same would be true if the West Coast wineries were to prevail in all 50 states with Direct Shipping, because that’s when the full force of an F-5 Tornado that’s been bottled up would be UNCORKED!

The manipulation of the free trade crusade of the last decade sent our entire economy into the darkest age most of us have ever known. Yet, the exact same forces now have set their sights on our industry. Our industry represents the last front on a vast “one size fits all battlefield” that has consumed more jobs and produced more small business obituaries in the last 20 years than our nation created over the course of the last century.

Persistence Pays Off

The biggest reason for why the NJLSA has been able to prevail with our efforts in 2011 was because of the retailers and wholesalers who collectively stepped up and made countless calls to legislators and who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with their local and state officials. We will need and expect more of the same in 2012, in order for us to be able to sustain our progress. Many of you from South Jersey found out, first hand, that you can make a difference on the local front. I was very encouraged by the many meetings that I participated or was told about, where local retailers met with local legislators to discuss concerns about the gambit of proposed legislation.

If you are a retailer that has been sitting on the sidelines, expecting others to fight your battles for you, my advice to you is simple: NOW IS THE TIME TO GET ON THE PLAYING FIELD! Do not wait until it’s too late! Please join the NJLSA and help save your future…. All you have to do is fill out and send in the NJLSA Membership Application along with your payment!


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