FrEwing Posted November 9, 2011 Share Posted November 9, 2011 Copied from Shanken News: Costco Wins Big In Washington Referendum In a stunning victory for Costco and other big retailers, Washington State voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 1183 on November 8, ending the state’s 78-year monopoly on liquor sales. Early returns showed the measure winning with some 60% of the vote. The most expensive initiative campaign in state history, the battle involved donations of $22.7 million from Costco alone, of which $18.5 million has been spent, mostly on TV advertising. Opponents, including wholesalers Southern Wine & Spirits and Young’s Market, spent some $12.5 million of their own to defeat the measure. Now the state must sell off its Seattle-area central warehouse and inventory and auction off its 328 stores, about half of which are state-run. Contractors who operate the other stores must buy back the inventory in order to continue their business. The state’s plan to sell off its liquor distribution rights to a single wholesaler is also now forfeit. Private sales of liquor are set to begin on June 1, 2012. With the victory, the state’s retailers also won the right to seek volume discounts from beer, wine and spirits suppliers and to warehouse their products themselves, both of which Costco had sought as early as their first lawsuit against Washington State in 2005. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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