86
BEVERAGE MEDIA
September 2013
KNOW
THE
LAW
At the July 31
st
, 2013 Board meet-
ing, the State Liquor Authority fined a
New York State liquor and wine whole-
saler $100,000 and imposed a 30-day
deferred suspension based upon an al-
legation that one of its solicitors sold
133 cases of wine to a select retailer at
a discount of nearly 50%, without offer-
ing the product to other retailers. The
deeply discounted price was not posted
as a limited availability item with the
SLA as mandated by the Alcoholic
Beverage Control (ABC) law.
On July 31
st
, 2013, the New York
State Liquor Authority issued Advisory
2013-5, which sets forth safe harbors for
use in connection with the sale of limited
availability goods. On the same day, the
Authority issued a new Advisory giving
suppliers, importers and wholesalers rules
and a safe harbor in dealing with close-
outs and other limited availability issues.
A copy of the Advisory can be found at
-
visory_2013-5_-_Limited_Availability_
and_Closeout_Sales.pdf.
Focus Turns to
Supply & Demand
The advisory applies to all “Limited Avail-
ability” items, which are “those items
bearing the same brand or trade name, or
combo packs… for which the manufac-
turer, importer or wholesaler has reason
to believe market demand exceeds or will
soon exceed available inventory.” Conse-
quently, if those in charge of the brand be-
lieve they do not have sufficient product
to handle the demand, they should follow
the limited availability guidelines.
Reasons why a manufacturer, import-
er or wholesaler might believe an item is
limited in availability include:
(1) It does not have sufficient inventory to
meet demand;
(2) It cannot purchase sufficient inventory to
satisfy demand;
(3) After the inventory on hand is sold, It does
not intend to sell or purchase further in-
ventory for a period of at least one year;
(4) The item is seasonal and either the sup-
plier, importer or wholesaler has pur-
chased a limited amount or the season
has passed;
(5) The item has been discontinued by the
supplier;
(6) It has price posted a subsequent vintage;
(7) It has terminated its business relationship
with the supplier;
(8) It has decided to close out the item.
The Combination Package Advisory
must be consulted when working with
the limited availability advisory. There-
fore, combination packages which are as-
sembled and packaged by the supplier and
which are intended to be disassembled
by the licensed retailer for resale as well
as combination packages created by dis-
tributors must be price posted as limited
in availability and sold under the combi-
nation package advisory rules.
No quantity discounts may be offered
for items which are posted as limited in
availability.
Once a month begins and the pric-
es become effective, they may not be
changed without permission from the Li-
quor Authority.
Methods of Allocation
A supplier, importer, or wholesaler is
free to use any method of allocation
that does not unfairly discriminate.
However, unless it price posts the item
as limited in availability and uses a
method which has been approved by
the Liquor Authority, it runs the risk
the Authority will charge it with un-
lawful price discrimination. The fol-
lowing methods of allocation have
been approved by the Authority:
SLA Tackles Limited Availability
New Advisory Clarifies Definition & Handling of Certain Items
BY KEVEN DANOW
N
ew York law requires that wholesalers of wine and
spirits post their prices monthly in order to ensure that
all licensed retailers are able to purchase products from
wholesalers at the same prices. These provisions were enact-
ed to create transparency and to protect New York consum-
ers and businesses from anti-competitive market behavior.
NO QUANTITY
DISCOUNTS MAY
BE OFFERED FOR
ITEMS WHICH ARE
POSTED AS LIMITED
IN AVAILABILITY.
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