Indiana Police Cite 12 Huck's C-Stores Over Beer Pricing
Promotion violated law requiring same price for all customers
VINCENNES, Ind. --Indiana State Excise Police officers cited 12 Huck's convenience stores in southern Indiana May 15 on 55 charges after a two-month investigation related to beer prices.
In February, State Excise Police received a complaint that Martin & Bayley Inc., which operates the Huck's c-store chain, released a flyer that included a coupon for "$1.00 Off Any Beer 6pk or Larger With Coupon." This coupon had a disclaimer that read: "Limit one offer per person per visit. No copies or facsimiles. Not good with any other offers. Good only at participating Huck's stores. Good 2-12-14 thru 2-25-14."
Indiana law requires that alcoholic beverages be sold for the same price to all customers. Since not every customer who purchased beer from Huck's stores during the promotional period had coupons, they were not offered the beer for the discounted price.
Five Huck's stores were preliminarily charged with one count each of Media Advertising: Newburgh, Vincennes, Petersburg, Paoli and Fort Branch, Ind.
Seven Huck's stores were preliminarily charged with one or more counts of Media Advertising and Sales Discrimination: Evansville, Huntingburg, North Manchester, French Lick, Chandler, Hope and Vincennes, Ind.
All are to be presumed not liable until, and unless, the plaintiff can prove by preponderance of the evidence the respondent’s liability in an administrative hearing, said the department.
The citations could result in a monetary fine of up to $1,000 per charge, or suspension of the alcoholic beverage permit for a period of time or both a fine and suspension, the department said.
Representatives of Martin & Bayley did not respond to a CSP Daily News request for comment by press time.
Carmi, Ill.-based Martin & Bayley is a 100% employee-owned company operating 113 Huck's c-stores in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.