November 9, 2015 – Bethesda, MD – November is National Package Liquor Store Month, recognized by American Beverage Licensees (ABL) and celebrated in communities across the country. Established in 2009, Package Liquor Store Month is an opportunity to showcase independently-owned package stores and the many benefits they provide beverage consumers.
Package stores continue to uphold a longstanding legacy that began before Prohibition. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a “Package Store” as “a store that sells bottled or canned (alcohol) beverages for consumption off the premises” and traces its usage back to 1918.
“ABL proudly supports our package liquor store members,” said ABL President Warren Scheidt, a package store owner in Columbus, Indiana. “Locally owned and operated, off-premise licensees support their local communities and recognize the responsibility of selling alcohol products in a diverse and competitive market.”
Thanks to the 21st amendment, package stores can be found in states across the country, which have developed their own unique beverage alcohol marketplaces that meet the needs of the public while preserving an environment of accountability and responsibility that comes with selling beverage alcohol. The results of this three-tier system are the most diverse and innovative alcohol market in the world; the incubation and growth of thousands of brands of beer, wine and spirits; and a decidedly positive economic impact.
In the U.S., off-premise retailers provide over 535,132 jobs through the direct sale of beverage alcohol. That includes more than $17.5 billion in wages and benefits, $32.6 billion in direct economic impact and over $36 billion in taxes paid to federal, state, and local governments each year.
“Independent package liquor stores serve their communities by creating jobs and generating economic activity, in addition to providing the beer, wine and spirits products that their customers expect,” said John Bodnovich, ABL’s Executive Director. “Package Liquor Store Month is an opportunity to recognize these businesses that support local charities, sponsor sports leagues, and work with law enforcement, regulators and parents to prevent the misuse of alcohol.”
Licensing requirements for package stores can be rigorous, which means that package store owners put a premium on refusing sales to underage or intoxicated would-be-customers. By training their staff and working within their communities to raise awareness about preventing underage access to alcohol, America’s package stores are fulfilling their commitment to responsibly selling beverage alcohol.
With new and innovative beer, wine and spirits products being introduced to the market every day, adult beverage consumers are looking to their local package stores to find iconic brands from brewers, distillers and winemakers, as well as up-and-coming products from local producers.
Most package stores specialize in selling beer, wine and spirits; not groceries, pharmaceuticals or gasoline. That means they can focus on the latest innovations – whether those are new products from small, local producers or line-extensions from well-known brands – to meet customer needs. By working with producers and distributors, independent package stores continue to provide an unmatched market entry opportunity that continues to grow in importance in the evolving beverage alcohol industry.
In this season of celebration, ABL and its members encourage everyone to support locally-owned businesses by stopping in their neighborhood package store for a bottle of their favorite wine, beer or distilled spirits. November is Package Liquor Store Month…Let’s Celebrate!