Wine Kiosks Not in Sheetz' Immediate Future

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Wine Kiosks Not in Sheetz' Immediate Future


ALTOONA, Pa. -- Despite news from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board last week that Sheetz was in early talks to add wine kiosks to its stores, the convenience store operator is not looking to add the machines any time soon.

Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for locally headquartered Sheetz, said the board approached retailer about any interest in the wine kiosks; however, company executives said they were not interested at this time, according to the Altoona Mirror. One major concern, he said, was the kiosks themselves.

"The performance of the equipment was an issue, and another issue for us was their physical size. They are huge," he said after observing a wine kiosk at a Wegman's in Chapel Hill, Pa. "We have a small footprint and we would have to replace something inside to put one in."

The hours of operation were another possible issue, according to the newspaper. "We would want it to be open extended hours, not necessarily 24 hours a day." Sheetz said. "The PLCB requires that it only be open the hours they are open."

In addition the inventory would be owned by the board. "They would get all of the money. We would maybe get some more traffic," he added. "It is intriguing as a divestiture from the norm. We had some initial interest but not today." However, the retailer isn't ruling out the possibility in the future.

One possibility it is considering is opening another store in West Virginia.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, Sheetz is eyeing a former Chi-Chi's in Kanawha City. The newspaper cites an entry in the Charleston's Planning and Zoning Board agenda stating Sheetz Inc. has requested a waiver of the requirement that 80 percent of the parking must be behind the front building. The item says the request is in order to build a new convenience store on the property located at 5505 MacCorkle Ave.

Dan Vriendt, director of Charleston's planning board, told the newspaper that the c-store chain contacted the city on March 16 to express interest in the location, which has been vacant since the Mexican restaurant closed in 2004. He added, however, that Sheetz has not submitted any construction plans. The planning board is expected to hear the request on April 28.