Agreement keeps liquor stores stocked until transition to private sales

A major milestone was reached recently when suppliers representing 99 percent of all listed spirits products signed an agreement with the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).

The Supplier Buy-back Agreement allows their products to remain available to customers until the transition to private sales on June 1, 2012.

"Our employees hit the ground running Nov. 9," said WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster. "I want to thank them for their steady leadership and dedication on behalf of our customers."

The LCB reached out to suppliers soon after the election, seeking their input and support on a buy-back agreement. Initiative 1183 directs the Board to deplete all inventory before June 1, 2012. To reduce risk of leftover product and to ensure that customers had access to liquor until the transition date, the LCB needed a commitment from suppliers to re-purchase their products.

"We knew that it would take a partnership with our suppliers to ensure an orderly transition to private liquor sales on June 1, 2012," said Director of Purchasing and architect of the buy-back agreement. "Our suppliers stepped-up for our customers by agreeing to keep our existing liquor stores fully-stocked through the last day of public sales on May 31, 2012."

Entering into supplier buyback agreement was optional, but there are significant benefits including the ability to: have special orders fulfilled, participate in the spirits tasting pilot, and continue to have marketing displays in state stores.

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