Sunday Alcohol Sales Bring More Revenue for ABC Stores

Lynchburg, VA -Since the General Assembly passed Bill 896 in July, all but three ABC stores in the Commonwealth have opened their doors an extra day for customers.

Stores are bringing in millions of dollars of revenue, and store managers say those numbers will continue to grow as more people hear about the additional hours.

"I think at first, it took people a little time to realize that we were open. I think we're still seeing people that come in each week and are not aware we're open on Sundays," said Terry Williams, an ABC store manager in Lynchburg.

According to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 336 out of 339 of their stores are opening up shop on Sundays, and business has been good.

"We're showing pretty true with the other stores, about a 67 % increase in sales just for Sunday," said Williams.

An additional 200 stores decided to take advantage of the Sunday shopping time.

According to ABC, Sunday sales brought in $15.8 million to the state. It's given a 4 % increase to most stores' total sales.

Williams, manager of store 266, says he hasn't seen much opposition to his store being open on Sundays even though there were many opponents in the beginning.

Even Governor Bob McDonnell, who supports the increase in revenue for Virginia, says he is "philosophically against" the state being in the liquor business.

Williams however, says Sunday sales were bound to happen eventually.

"We're retail in general. And in retail most stores are open on Sunday now," he said. "We've had 132 stores open throughout the state. So I think it was probably just a matter of some expectations from our customers as when is it going to happen for us."

But no matter what day you buy alcohol, Williams says to be responsible.

"ABC always wants people to realize you know, if you're going to drink, please drink responsibly, and make sure you're not out there drinking and driving."

Williams says his store will most likely see an increase in Sunday sales as time goes on. He says the increase in revenue will be a significant addition to the state's budget every year.