LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) – A liquor shortage is affecting Michigan bars, restaurants and customers.
Software issues at one of the state’s distribution companies caused the shortage. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission says it’s taking action to ensure that liquor shelves are stocked for the holiday season.
The MLCC says complaints were raised at a commission business meeting last week about delivery issues, stock shortages and a lack of customer service from Republic National Distributing Company.
RNDC, one of Michigan’s three authorized distribution agents, is responsible for the warehousing and delivery of spirit products on behalf of MLCC to its licensees.
The commission called on the Attorney General’s Office to analyze the situation and determine any potential solutions, which may include monetary penalties and/or violations for authorized distribution agents that would hold them accountable for failure to supply licensees with the products they ordered.
An RNDC delivery schedule the state posted shows orders from Monday are being delivered to Escanaba Tuesday. However, orders being delivered Tuesday in Livonia are from last Thursday. The MLCC will be posting updated delivery schedules from RNDC as they are received on the Online Spirits Ordering page at: https://tinyurl.com/mlcc-rndc-schedule.
Retailer licensees who are having difficulties receiving spirit orders timely or not at all from ADAs, can submit their complaint directly to MLCC at: https://tinyurl.com/mlcc-ada-order-complaints. Licensees who use this online complaint form are providing MLCC with important information needed to identify and correct issues with spirit orders through the ADA.
Any downturn in retail spirit sales due to unstocked shelves also impacts the state’s bottom line as the sole wholesaler of spirits. Last year, distilled spirit sales in Michigan reached almost $1.5 billion; MLCC expended $70 million toward the distribution fees paid to the ADAs, with RNDC receiving approximately two thirds of that total amount.