ONE YEAR LATER, RETAILERS IN NEW YORK, DELAWARE REPORT 10% GAINS FROM SUNDAY LIQUOR SALES LAW — Sales up after Blue Law rollback; New York retailers urge legislators to repeal further
Distilled spirits sales have increased by 10 percent in New York and Delaware in the first year that the two states have allowed Sunday sales, according to tax revenue figures from the respective states. “The revenue figures support the overwhelming positive response from consumers, small business owners and analysts who say Sunday sales are a huge success,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy. On May 15, 2003, both states rolled back Prohibition-era bans on spirits sales. Delaware allowed its liquor stores to open seven days a week, and New York allowed store owners to choose which six days of the week to open for business. In New York, Steve Glamuzina, President of the Empire State Liquor Store Association, said he is getting very positive feedback from his members who have decided to open on Sunday. Glamuzina stated that Sunday sales have been so successful for retailers and the state that legislators are now considering whether to allow full seven-day sales. “Sales and tax revenue would increase further if retailers were allowed to open everyday of the week,” said Glamuzina, who also owns Georgetown Square Wine and Liquor in Williamsville, NY. “It’s a matter of convenience for our shoppers. People want the freedom to shop when they can, and the marketplace should be able to accommodate that.” Jim Mackenzie, owner of Wine World in Amherst, NY, reported that stores in his area have also experienced a boost in business from Sunday sales. “It has been a boon for our business and for other stores near mine,” said Mackenzie. “We used to be open 12 hours on Tuesdays, but I gave that up to open just five hours on Sundays, and we’re doing twice as much business as we were on Tuesday. We have been very pleased with the results.” In New York City, Darrin Siegfried, owner of Red, White and Bubbly, in Brooklyn, chose at first not to open on Sundays but reversed the decision when he realized that Sunday business was successful and better for his customers. “We decided to try opening on Sundays because our customers come first, and that’s when they do their shopping,” Siegfried said. “We have only been open on Sundays for about a month, and already we’re doing more business on Sunday than we were on Tuesday, the day we now have to close.” Delaware businesses, now allowed to open seven days a week, also report increased sales. “It has been a fantastic success,” said David Trone, owner of Total Wine & More in Milltown and Claymont, Delaware. “Most retailers here have chosen to be open, and the state is reporting double-digit sales increases.” Delaware spirits wholesaler, Christopher Tigani, said he now employs six additional full-time Delaware workers because of increased Sunday sales business. “Sunday sales in Delaware have far surpassed my expectations,” said Tigani, executive vice president of NKS Distributors. “Our customers are pleased by the convenience and local businesses are pleased consumers are now staying in Delaware to buy their products instead of crossing state lines.” Since New York and Delaware rolled back their Blue Laws, other states have followed suit, including Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island (during the December holiday season) and Virginia. Thirty states now allow Sunday spirits sales in some fashion, and others are considering similar reforms.