MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Shoppers at a Wegmans Food Markets  here were in good spirits despite the inability to purchase wine this holiday season.
“We haven't had any complaints from customers at all,” store manager Bob Finn told SN.
The store's self-serve wine machine is one of about 30 Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board kiosks that have been out of commission since Dec. 22. The PLCB decided to temporarily pull the plug on the machines that act as satellite PLCB stores, due to a glitch that prevented shoppers from retrieving bottles of wine they'd paid for, according to spokeswoman Stacey Witalec.
“There are mechanical and technical difficulties that we determined are systemic,” she said.
The PLCB has posted signs explaining the problem on machines that will remain in-store while manufacturer Simple Brands, Conshohocken, Pa., works to repair them. They should be operational early this year.
PLCB staff monitor the kiosks remotely, making it particularly challenging to resolve issues that arise with the vending machines. Problems also threaten to tax supermarket resources since shoppers may turn to store personnel for help. Supermarkets don't profit financially from wine sales, their motivated by shopper convenience.
It's unclear whether the setback will delay plans for expanding the kiosks to other locations.