ROCHESTER, N.Y. —Wine kiosks will be a thing of the past at Wegmans Food Markets , which blames operational issues, malfunctions, customer complaints and low sales volume for its decision to have the self-service machines removed.
In a letter sent to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board earlier this week, Wegmans requested that the kiosks that act as satellite PLCB stores be removed within 30 days, according to Stacey Witalec, spokeswoman for the PLCB. It’s unclear whether the PLCB will find new homes for the 10 machines.
“At this point our focus is on the remaining 22 kiosks that are operating in stores across the commonwealth and ensuring they are functioning appropriately for consumers and we continue to provide convenience, selection and value to those visiting supermarket locations,” Witalec said.
In December the PLCB temporarily pulled the plug on the machines due to a glitch that prevented shoppers from retrieving bottles of wine they’d pay for.
PLCB staff monitor the kiosks remotely, making it challenging to resolve issues that arise with the 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 in Pennsylvania, they're motivated by shopper convenience.