Support Small Business Package Liquor Stores This Holiday Season

BETHESDA, MD – With the holiday season officially underway, American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is encouraging consumers to support their local package liquor store.  Local beverage retailers continue to provide customers with the widest selection of beer, wine and spirits of any country in the world and meet the needs of evolving trends as well as longstanding tastes of adult beverage consumers.

“Black Friday” and, just as importantly, “Small Business Saturday”, provide great opportunities to shop local small beverage businesses.  Package stores are some of the last independently owned businesses on “Main Street” in America, and comprise the all-important retail component of the three-tier alcohol market framework.  By working with thousands of brewers, distillers and vintners, and tens of thousands of beverage distributors, hundreds of thousands of off-premise beverage licensees build brands and keep pace with product styles to make sure customers are satisfied.

Package liquor stores come in all shapes and sizes, from convenient local wine shops to 20,000 square foot destination liquor stores with thousands of products from around the world.  These businesses all compete for customers and depend on state and federal governments to ensure a competitive playing field where beverage businesses large and small can succeed and meet public demand.  This means enforcing trade practice laws for beverage alcohol and applying laws like the Robinson-Patman Act to prevent price discrimination against small business.

Speaking of competition, package liquor stores are also part of a broad effort to secure Congressional support for a more competitive credit card routing system which would save merchants and families billions of dollars.  Momentum is building in Congress to pass the Credit Card Competition Act, which simply asks that big banks and giant credit companies compete – just like package liquor stores do every day.

Package liquor stores also continue to play a vital public safety role in a variety of ways. Whether supporting the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign; 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 proper tax collection, package liquor stores are doing their part to ensure a safe domestic alcohol market.

The economic impact of off-premise businesses remains significant.  The 2020 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers found that off-premise retailers have a direct economic impact of more than $50 billion annually.  Off-premise 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.

As Package Liquor Store Month winds down this November, and the busy buying season kicks into high gear, ABL encourages everyone to support their local, independent package liquor store this holiday season.  Cheers!