November 30, 2022 — BETHESDA, MD – With the December around the corner, America’s package liquor stores are looking to build on a busy start to the holiday season in November with a push to meet consumer needs into the holidays and the New Year.
Not only did off-premise alcohol retailers celebrate Package Liquor Store Month this November, they also participated in the re-launch of the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign, promoting the responsible sales and service of beer, wine, and spirits. And while their on-premise tavern and bar colleagues were busy serving customers on Thanksgiving Eve or “National Bar Night”, as it’s known to many, local package stores were busy recommending drink pairings for Thanksgiving dinners, keeping the shelves stocked on Black Friday, and serving their communities and neighbors who stopped by to support these trusted home-grown businesses on Small Business Saturday.
November was also a busy time for package stores in states like Colorado and Massachusetts, where they engaged in campaigns on ballot initiatives that directly affect their businesses, employees, and customers. Despite being vastly outspent by out-of-state corporations and national chains, state retail beverage organizations notched victories for their members, educated the public and elected officials about their businesses, and did their part to preserve vibrant independent beverage alcohol marketplaces for their communities.
In Washington, DC, off-premise beverage licensees continue their grassroots advocacy for pro-small business legislation, including fighting for the passage of the Credit Card Competition Act, which would bring much-needed competition to the broken credit card payment system; making sure that changes to federal data privacy laws work for Main Street businesses; and sharing their experience when it comes to trade practice laws and other regulations to ensure a competitive beverage alcohol market. These efforts come after package liquor stores were almost universally recognized as essential businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic impact of off-premise businesses is significant. The 2020 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers found that off-premise retailers have a direct economic impact in excess of $50 billion annually. These retailers further account for more than 620,000 jobs and $22 billion in wages and benefits – along with generating $21 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.
While their economic impact is notable, package liquor stores also play a vital public safety role. Whether preventing counterfeit or tainted alcohol from reaching the hands of consumers; using technology and training to make sure that customers are at least 21 years of age; or working with industry partners and regulators to ensure local accountability – including proper tax collection – package liquor stores are doing their part in America’s beverage alcohol ecosystem.
With a busy Package Liquor Store Month coming to a close, and even busier times ahead, ABL encourages everyone to support their local, independent package liquor store this holiday season. Cheers!