Local liquor stores stock up for first weekend of Sunday sales
The debut of Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota happens to coincide with the biggest tourism weekend of the summer--and liquor store owners in the biggest tourist area of the state are getting ready to sling some booze at the start of the new week.
The debut of Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota happens to coincide with the biggest tourism weekend of the summer-and liquor store owners in the biggest tourist area of the state are getting ready to sling some booze at the start of the new week.
Brian Farrell of the Nisswa city-owned store Spirits of Nisswa said Sunday sales may cause a boost in sales during the summer tourist season, but it would also spread sales out over seven days instead of six. However, his doors would be open July 2, the inaugural Sunday.
Overall, it was difficult to say for sure what impact the law would have without some time spent under it, he said.
"Call me next year, and I can tell you," Farrell said.
Sandy Knight, manager of Super One Liquors in Baxter, said her store would be open as well. She too said it was difficult to project just how the new law would impact profitability long-term, but it would likely increase sales over the summer.
"I see it as being a plus for us, in terms of what it's going to be, profit-wise," Knight said.
Super One Liquors as well as many other businesses in the area had struggled to find workers for the summer season, she said. She hired several people, and made sure to note in interviews that the job now includes the responsibility of working Sunday hours. Knight planned to divide the Sunday shifts evenly among all the workers.
The Baxter location was gearing up for the Fourth of July weekend anyway, she said, but the addition of Sunday sales into the mix has prompted the staff there to tell customers at the checkout counter about the expanded schedule.
"We are stocked to the hilt," Knight said.
There would be drawings and other events in the store to draw customers, she said.
Until recently, Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Koering owned Northeast Liquor and Baxter Liquor Mart. However, Koering said Friday he sold Northeast in May and would formally transfer ownership of Baxter Liquor Mart Saturday, having sold it to one of his employees. The new owner would in fact participate Sunday sales, he said.
"I got out just in time-so I could go to church on Sunday," Koering joked.
While the Legislature was debating whether to allow Sunday sales, Koering went down to St. Paul to lobby against the proposal. He said Friday it was "just another death nail in the coffins" of small businesses since it would dilute sales over seven days. The Sunday sales concept was a symptom of society's preoccupation with instant gratification, he added.