Uncorking Sunday liquor sales
For the first time since the start of Prohibition, alcohol sales at liquor stores are legal on Sundays.
On July 1, Minnesota joined 38 other states and the District of Columbia that now allow some form of Sunday retail liquor sales.
But local liquor owners are not necessarily crazy about the idea of being able to open their stores yet another day.
Blooming Prairie’s 218 Liquor has joined liquor stores across the state in offering wine, beer and spirits on Sundays. The store was open on July 2, the first day allowed by state law for Sunday liquor sales. The city’s other off-sale liquor establishment, J&H Liquors on Main Street, was also open for the first weekend, but does not plan to do so on a regular basis.
“It definitely wasn’t beneficial,” said Nancy Farr, owner of J&H Liquors. She said the store would be open on Sundays in the future only if it falls on a holiday weekend. Otherwise, J&H plans to keep the Sunday liquor sales corked.
But it was a different story at 218 Liquor, a family owned store, located on the south end of Blooming Prairie on the inaugural Sunday for liquor sales. “It was fabulous,” owner Miranda Goff said.
The novelty of buying booze on a Sunday seemed to draw many shoppers to 218 Liquors, but Goff admits forward thinkers stocking up for Independence Day could also have explained the initial rush.
Goff said she plans to have her store open every Sunday through the summer and reassess the situation this fall.
“We’re just split on it,” Goff said, noting her father, Doug, who started the business in 1994, wants to be open while she isn’t real sold on the idea. For now, her father plans to work every Sunday to offer sales on a day that Miranda Goff would like to keep as a family day.
The store will be open during the legal hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. In addition, 218 Liquor is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“It’s not an easy business,” Goff said. “You’re married to the job.”
She is appreciative of having help from her father so she can maintain her family time on Sundays.
Goff says in the long run she doesn’t think Sunday sales will make a difference in overall revenue for her store.
Part of the challenge Goff faces is losing customers to other cities like Owatonna and Austin. “We don’t want them to go to the other cities,” she said, adding that’s part of dilemma they face in whether to be open or not on Sundays.
“They’re coming because we’re convenient and local and we don’t want to make it inconvenient for them,” Goff said. “We want to maintain our customer base.”