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The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) plans to expand the Pronto Wine Kiosk program into southeastern Pennsylvania, with the first kiosk in the Philadelphia opened this past weekend at The Fresh Grocer supermarket in Drexel Hill.
"We've been testing the Pronto Wine Kiosks at two supermarkets in the Harrisburg area for the past three months," said board chairman Patrick J. "PJ" Stapleton. "The kiosks have proven to be safe and reliable and we are looking forward to giving consumers across Pennsylvania the opportunity to do one-stop shopping."
The wine kiosk located at The Fresh Grocer will stock more than 40 different products, ranging in price from $5.99 to $39.99 and will include Chaddsford Niagara, a Pennsylvania-produced product. The kiosk will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
PLCB will continue introducing kiosks as it finalizes contracts with supermarkets, and plans to ultimately install 100 kiosks in stores across the state.
The first two kiosks, located at a Giant Food Store in Dauphin County and a Wegmans Food Market in Cumberland County, were launched June 23. Since the pilot program began, consumers have purchased more than 7,400 bottles of wine at the kiosks.
"Providing customer convenience is our number-one priority with this project but we needed to make sure we could provide that convenience while also ensuring safety," added Stapleton. "We took the time necessary to test the kiosks to make sure they met our stringent sales standards. The pilot sites not only met our expectations, but exceeded them. We are confident the kiosks will continue to perform well as they are introduced across the state."
Developed by Simple Brands LLC of Conshohocken, Pa., the kiosks feature technology to assure full compliance with the PLCB's strict measures to prevent sales to underage or intoxicated persons. The buyer's photo identification is inserted into the kiosk, where age information on the bar code is processed. The photograph on the ID is matched with a video image of the buyer at the kiosk. A Liquor Control Board employee monitors each transaction from a remote location and confirms that the video of the purchaser matches the person's driver's license ID.
In addition, the kiosks have a built-in breathalyzer that requires no contact with the device and provides an instant reading to ensure the buyer is not under the influence. If a breath alcohol level of .02 or higher is detected, the consumer will not be able to make a purchase.
The kiosk initiative is part of Liquor Control Board’s systematic business plan to make the 75-year-old agency more customer-focused. The plan includes initiatives to improve the customer store experience; enhance training for PLCB employees; boost returns to the state's General Fund; assure and promote responsible use of alcohol through regulation and education; and take advantage of new technology.