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Corbett to unveil privatization plan Wednesday

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 29 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 30 2013 06:14:54 AM CST

Corbett to unveil privatization plan Wednesday

Some retailers in Berks County will be paying very close attention to Governor Tom Corbett's plan to privatize liquor sales.

If the governor's plan is approved, eventually, there could be up to 1200 liquor licenses up for grabs.

Some store owners say liquor sales could be good for business, business desperately needed in a tough economy.

At Fine Fare supermarket in Reading, manager Eddie Espinal says he'll be watching closely what Governor Corbett says about selling alcohol.

"I think if we got approved to sell beer in this establishment," said Espinal, "my sales would go up 25-30%.

The governor is expected to call for auctioning off wine and liquor store licenses and opening beer and wine sales to a wide array of retailers, including supermarkets like Fine Fare.

Some shoppers seemed to support the governor's stance, citing added convenience.

"I think it's more beneficial to have them in the store than having to go all the way to the liquor store," said Rayna Freeman, customer.

According to sources close to the governor's office, the plan involves shutting down more than 600 state-owned wine and liquor stores.

Some fear that could lead to massive job cuts of state employees and cost the state significant revenue.

The governor is set to announce his plan Wednesday in Pittsburgh.