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Liquor Store Ownership

Old 03-05-2012, 06:07 PM
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Default Liquor Store Ownership

Anyone here have any experience with (or know someone who owns) a retail liquor store?

Is it profitable? What are the major pros and cons.

I'm sure there is a lot to deal with in terms of licensing, theft, and regulations but what I have read so far there seems to be a lot of folks doing well with them.

I completed a search here before posting but couldn't find a similar thread.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:13 PM
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Key is location and inventory
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:36 PM
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Biggest issue is dealing with the drunks! My friends dad has two stores. Drunk violence, drunk theft, drunk assault. It's not a walk in the park and not meant for everyone.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:42 PM
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I suspect it varies drastically State to State. In CT you have to compete with the big grocery stores even though there are minimum price and open hour restriction protections. There is a very effective lobby, but bottom lone is its one of the few Mom and Pop stores left and even though Sunday closures violate the church state thing most people here feel saving local mom and pop business is more important. Varies though depending on local issues. research it thoroughly and listen to the NC folks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:46 PM
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liquor stores are nearly extinct down here, unless they are primarily a wine store
you can get just about enything you want at the gas station convenience store, 24/7
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:48 PM
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I've had a liquor store since 1977. The margins are very slim. Theft by customers as well as employee's is becoming more of a problem every year. If you don't cash payroll checks, don't even bother.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:49 PM
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I smell a THT group buy in the future ... : )
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:30 PM
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I'd imagine a higher end store in a high end area would do away with some of the homeless problems. I love how they never rob butcher shops, too many knives around!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:00 PM
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We have many liquor stores like, most communities. Even had a family member who bought into one in a quiet part of town, after retiring. We also have a famous discount liquor store in the worst part of town. But..... all the employees are required to come strapped. NEVER had a robbery. They carry open and 'in your face'. There is no question that any trouble will be dealt with on the premises by all employees. Once I got past the initial surprise... I feel more comfortable buying liquor there than in many of the other liquor stores. But, mainly, they have the best prices. I guess they don't have to cover much theft loss.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:29 PM
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If you can look past DEPENDING on selling to drunks everyday then you could probably do ok.

10 years ago I worked at a liquor store, the exact same 40 people would walk in at the same time, and buy the same thing everyday.

An 85 year old lady would buy 3 40's of Busch everyday, pretty funny, not really though...

Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:11 AM
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with low margins and somewhat steady clientele I would think ownership would be like that of a franchise or restaurant.....ya need to own more than one to make serious cash...I agree with the check cashing thing....take like 3-5%...Location would be key in most areas (except Louisiana, cus we don't need em) and all your cashiers would have to possess a CCW.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cgrand View Post
liquor stores are nearly extinct down here, unless they are primarily a wine store
you can get just about enything you want at the gas station convenience store, 24/7
Wow - some gas stations can sell beer here but not Liquor. In Maryand they actually have drive thru liquor stores. NJ has combination liquor store/bars. In PA when I lived there they had State Stores for Wine and Liquor and you buy beer at certain bars and beer distributers.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:14 AM
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Here's all the infor you need maybe:
http://www.howtobuyaliquorstore.com/view.html
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CurtRusher View Post
Anyone here have any experience with (or know someone who owns) a retail liquor store?

Is it profitable? What are the major pros and cons.

I'm sure there is a lot to deal with in terms of licensing, theft, and regulations but what I have read so far there seems to be a lot of folks doing well with them.

I completed a search here before posting but couldn't find a similar thread.
I am a silent partner in one. Rhode Island is very different than mosts states in that it is a closed state. What the means is that gas stations, covenience stores, supermarkets, Walmarts, etc. cannot sell alcohol of any kind.

Also, you cannot have an interest in more than one store.

Jurisdictions have limited licenses, meaning you either need turnover in a license or buy an existing location

To that end, legislation and regulation keep competition out, but at the same time keep a very fragmented market with all mom and pop locations.

Because of the aforementioned, margins are ridiculously high for the owners (think about it, the very market set up is a recipe for price collusion).

Here stores are limited in what non alcohol products they can sell - lottery is the biggest. Lottery covers the overhead plain and simple.

Pros - cash flow, limited competition, very stable market

Cons - barriers to entry are high - translation $$$$ to get in the game, low market growth - its a value business, not a growth driver - if you overpay upfront, you will never get your return back, government relations effort - you want to keep competition out, you need a strong lobby.

Licensing is a pain, but doable. Theft is very really - and occasionally the theft will happen from a non-employee.

The partner I back works the store every day - without someone with a vested interest on location - forget about it, your employees will rob you blind.

My advice to you is do your due diligince on your market. Determine your target location. Then, go 15-30 miles outside of it and start talking to store owners. Be upfront with them, tell them you are looking to get in the business outside of their market. You will find some that tell you to pound sand, and some that will be very open to you (you are not competition).

Want to know more, just ask.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:17 AM
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I imagine long hours as you would need to be on site in order to keep control on the $$ and the inventory.

Otherwise, you will lose your shirt.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:32 AM
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Liquor is so old school. I'm gonna open a marijuana "pharmacy."
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
Wow - some gas stations can sell beer here but not Liquor. In Maryand they actually have drive thru liquor stores. NJ has combination liquor store/bars. In PA when I lived there they had State Stores for Wine and Liquor and you buy beer at certain bars and beer distributers.
we go one better...drive thru daiquiri shops!
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cgrand View Post
we go one better...drive thru daiquiri shops!
Drive thru daiquiri shops!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:11 AM
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I NC ABC stores are not individually owned.


http://abc.nc.gov/faq/category.aspx
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:46 AM
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Or come to Florida and be a legal oxycontin pusher!
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