Recently an agent found an item (i.e., a BBQ grill) in the basement of a retail premises.

Recently an agent found an item (i.e., a BBQ grill) in the basement of a retail premises. The distributor followed the rule and made sure to 1) have a raffle box available; 2) clearly indicated the raffle date on signage; and 3) contacted the winner of the raffle and advised them they had won.  The item was removed the next day by the retailer. Subsequently, an Illinois Liquor Control Agent found the item in the basement area not accessible by the distributor. The distributor was cited.  How can a distributor avoid these types of situations?

The distributor must give the item directly to the consumer.  If the consumer is not present at the time of the giveaway, the distributor may not leave the item with the retailer.  The distributor must take the item back to the distributorship where the consumer can pick it up there.  It is recommended that the distributor draw more than one name in the event the consumer does not pick up the item.

Recently the ILCC has brought in local inspectors/police/etc. for checking minor violations. Are there any guidelines for those doing the checking?

Additionally, on-premise retailers have informed distributors that the sheriff’s department comes in on Friday and Saturday evenings in full uniform to do the inspections. This has caused patrons to leave the location, is there anything that can be done to have them do inspections at a different time?

Licensees are subject to inspection during license hours.  Police are changing their policy to go into bars in plain clothes but it is not a policy of the ILCC.  During training the ILCC is advising the police departments that they should go in the bar in plain clothes. 

Since a distributor can’t pick up breakage once delivered, what do they do if bulk merchandisers break a case while building a display?

What should distributors do if the packaging from the brewery is faulty and it comes apart?

If it is in the control of the distributor and is still in their handling it may be exchanged but once it is in the retailer’s control then it may not be exchanged.  If broken or damaged at time of delivery then the distributor has 15 days to exchange the damaged product.

A grocery store has an alcoholic bar upstairs and holds an on-premise license. May a customer buy a beer at the bar and proceed to walk around with it while shopping in the main store area?

As long as the retailer has a combined license (on and off), the entire area is defined in their license, and it is permitted by local ordinance then it is okay for consumers to enjoy their alcoholic beverage throughout the licensed premises.

Is it permissible for distributor’s employee to be employed by a retailer?

What if this employee is a stock clerk in a large format store, and they fill their own products on the shelf, cooler, display etc. but no other brands?

Employees can work for both retailer and distributor.  However, if the employee works as a stock clerk and only stocks the brands of beer from his employer, that employee is considered an employee of the beer distributor and is giving something of value to the retailer. 

Is it permissible for a distributor to deliver a few cases of alcoholic product on a non-delivery day, for the purpose of merchandising offered to all accounts?

This service is not offered to all retailers.

No.  Distributors that are delivering on a non-delivery day for the purpose of merchandising are giving the retailer something of value.  If retailers are pressuring the distributor the ILCC will discuss the matter with the retailer.