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ALTOONA, Pa. — Fresh on the heels of selling its first bottle of wine in Pennsylvania, Sheetz Inc. could be expanding the offering.
Sheetz plans to add wine sales to more Pennsylvania convenience stores over the coming months, following its first wine sale on Oct. 4 at its Shippensburg, Pa., store, reported the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal.
The chain hopes to sell takeout wine at its seven locations that already sell beer by the end of the year, according to Gary Zimmerman, vice president and general counsel for Sheetz.
Sheetz is currently analyzing every market for opportunities to sell beer and wine, such as participating in state auctions of expired restaurant liquor licenses. The c-store chain would like to offer beer and wine for sale at every store and may be able to do so eventually. However, the limited availability of liquor licenses in certain regions and resulting high price for such a license makes that a challenge, according to Zimmerman.
Although Act 39, the Adult Beverage Convenience and Wine Privatization Act, allows more business to sell alcohol, it did not allow for the creation of new liquor licenses.
"The license price can vary dramatically by county," Zimmerman said. He noted that prices can range from $50,000 to $300,000 and up. "It's all about supply and demand."
Pennsylvania may auction off approximately 1,200 expired liquor licenses, but they will not be released at the same time.
Altoona-based Sheetz operates more than 500 locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.