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Sundays a success for Worthington Liquor Store

WORTHINGTON -- The city's municipal liquor store has been open on Sunday for two months, and the results have been encouraging. The store sees around 200 customers on any given Sunday, said store manager Dan Wycoff. That's compared to 300 to 350 ...

WORTHINGTON - The city’s municipal liquor store has been open on Sunday for two months, and the results have been encouraging.

 

The store sees around 200 customers on any given Sunday, said store manager Dan Wycoff.  That’s compared to 300 to 350 on a Monday or Tuesday, but in only five hours of operation compared to 12.

 

“The sales have been steady and consistent,” Wycoff said. “You can guarantee that a lot of people will come in at noon, and you can guarantee that last hour will be the busiest.”

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There was skepticism among city staff that the store would make additional profits being open an extra day. However, after a financial analysis revealed the store would make an extra profit of $20,000 per year operating seven days a week, the Worthington City Council during a June 13 meeting voted to open the store on Sundays.

 

“It’s definitely well worth it for the store to be open and people are being positive about it,” Wycoff said.

 

Though the number of customers is high, they generally don’t buy as much on Sundays as they would on a weekday.  

 

“My average sale per customer is less, which means that it’s more of convenience store shopper,” Wycoff said. “They’re buying just one 12-pack or one bottle of wine. It’s not where they grab a cart and go shopping; it’s not like a Thursday or Saturday.”

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Wycoff expects that to change when the new liquor store on Ryan’s Road opens next year.

 

“With the new store, Sundays are going to be nothing but really good,” Wycoff said. “I think you’re going to have more of that planned purchase in the new store, with a better location, and a message from the start that it’s open every day.”

 

The new store will increase efficiency, meaning employees will likely spend more time helping customers and less time unloading boxes of liquor.

 

The liquor store contributes $250,000 every year to the city’s general fund. The theory behind the new store is it will draw in more customers and more dollars to help the city and its tax base, as its location is much improved.

 

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“Sales are pretty flat - we’ve done everything we can in this store,” Wycoff said. “We’ve maximized, so now we're in that limbo stage, but Sunday sales have been the one positive where at least we’re doing what we hoped we would do there, and it will definitely carry over big time to the new store.”

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