One Year Later: Local Owners Talk About Sunday Liquor Sales
Nearly every city has a liquor store, but not all of them can claim to be family-owned and operated.
“When I’m making the money, it goes directly back into the community essentially. I spend my money right around here,” said Nick Stanoch, who manages Princeton’s Liquors in Osseo.
The store dates back to 1966 and offers a wide variety of thirst-quenching libations.
“You can be in and out of my store in under a minute,” Stanoch said. “A lot of places you can’t even get into the parking lot in that kind of time. So I’m offering a convenience aspect to it too.”
Customers have even more convenience now that the store is open on Sundays.
“Overall, it means I work seven day days a week now, so that’s not exactly as fun,” Stanoch said.
Something else that’s not as fun, according to Stanoch, is that sales haven’t exactly increased by being open that extra day.
“Without getting into too much math, it’s pretty equal,” Stanoch said. “I don’t think it’s cost us a ton, but I know that we haven’t gained a lot either.”
In fact, he says that Saturday sales have dropped by about 40 percent since the state authorized Sunday sales. Industry experts say it’s a common story among independent liquor stores.
“The Saturday sales are down a little bit,” said Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association. “You get a few sales on Sunday, and some of the Mondays are almost nonexistent. So people are just spreading six days over seven days, and that’s what we speculated many, many years ago would happen.”
Big Box Liquor Retailers Benefit
However, Chesak says some of the big box liquor retailers have benefited from being open on Sundays due to their close proximity to heavy shopping areas.
“Grocery stores are sprouting up, and typically when there’s one sprouting up, they put a liquor store alongside of it,” Chesak said. “And that automatically adds one more liquor license holder to an area, which cuts the pie another piece.”
That said, he admits that one year is too small of a sample size to give an accurate assessment of the Sunday sales impact.
In the meantime, the staff members at Princeton’s are taking a wait and see approach.
“I think we’re still learning,” Stanoch said. “It might take a couple years to figure out how it affects the overall business.”
Meanwhile, Chesak says that with Sunday alcohol sales finally approved, the Minnesota Grocers Association and the Convenience Stores Association plan to lobby the Minnesota Legislature to allow every gas station, convenience store, drug store and corner market to sell alcohol.