§ 3-5-11. Licensing of chain stores.
(a) Licenses, except retailer's Class E, Class B, Class B-H, Class B-L, Class B-M, and Class B-V licenses, authorized by this title shall not be granted, issued, or transferred to or for the use of any "chain store organization," which term shall consist of any chain of retail or wholesale business or business organizations, and more specifically defined herein, including, without limitation, grocery stores, markets, department stores, and convenience stores, as well as retailers of alcoholic beverages, and which include chains in which one or more stores are located outside of the state.
(b) The term "chain store organization" is defined to include, but not limited to:
(1) Any group of one or more holders of Class A liquor licenses who engage in one or more of the following practices with respect to the business conducted under such licenses, either directly or indirectly, or have any direct or indirect beneficial interest in the following practices:
(i) Common, group, centralized or coordinated purchases of wholesale merchandise.
(ii) Common billing or utilization of the services of the same person or the same entity in the management or operation of more than one liquor licensed business.
(iii) Participation in a coordinated or common advertisement with one or more liquor licensed business in any advertising media.
(iv) Coordinated or common planning or implementation of marketing strategies.
(v) Participation in agreed upon or common pricing of products.
(vi) Any term or name identified as a chain or common entity.
(2) Any group of one or more liquor license holders who share any of the following common features, either directly or indirectly or acquire any direct or indirect beneficial interest in the following practices:
(i) The same director of a corporation, member of a LLC, LLP, partner in a general or limited partnership, trustee or beneficiary of a trust.
(ii) The same individual or corporate owners.
(3) Any group of one or more license holders that is found to be a "chain store organization" as a factual matter by the department, as a result of an evidentiary hearing in connection with any application for the issuance, grant or transfer of a license, or upon the filing of a complaint by any member of the public.
(4) Upon a finding of violation of this section, the department shall be empowered to set a fine up to the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violating licensee, revoke the license of the violator, or suspend the license of the violator for a period of time to be determined by the department. Additionally, the department shall issue a cease and desist order against the violating chain store entity(s) and may further order the dissolution of the violating chain store entity(s).
(P.L. 1933, ch. 2013, § 6; P.L. 1934, ch. 2088, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 163, § 5; impl. am. P.L. 1939, ch. 660, § 120; G.L. 1956, § 3-5-11; P.L. 1990, ch. 45, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 421, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 376, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 469, § 1.)