Sunday Alcohol Sales Success Varies
While one retailer said it's worth it to open on Sundays, another said it won't be once other cities in Cobb County approve the measure.
The sale of packaged alcohol on Sundays has mixed reviews among retailers in Woodstock.
Jason Beaulieu at Bullock’s Wine & Spirits Warehouse said business at his store has definitely increased since Sunday sales began in November. Last Sunday, the store on Buckhead Crossing had approximately 835 customers. Beaulieu said that’s why it’s worth it to be open seven days a week.
“We have a strong business,” he said. “We have a good customer base, and I think they just like to see us open.”
While the store has seen fewer sales on Saturdays, Beaulieu said it more than makes up for that with sales on Sundays.
“We see more total sales,” Beaulieu said. “On Saturday we come up short on our numbers, but we more than make that up on Sunday.”
At Lucky’s Beverage World, owner Raj Patel said business has been “so far, so good.” From an owner-operator position, it’s break-even for the store as weekend sales are now split among three days, but being open on Sundays is good for the customers because they no longer have to make sure they buy what they need on Fridays and Saturdays, Patel said.
“They’re not having to preplan and figure out what (they) need on Sunday,” he said. “All those tangibles are now gone. The consumers are happy, and that’s what matters.”
Breaking even was what Patel expected when Sunday sales were approved.
“There are going to be some Sundays, like Super Bowl Sunday, like 4th of July weekend, like Memorial Day weekend, that are going to exceed expectations,” he said. “All the other weekends will probably balance out.”
Lucky’s originally was open from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on Sundays but extended its hours until 7 p.m. upon customer request.
“It’s tough to close when you have 15 to 20 people in here still shopping,” Patel said. “People said, ‘Hey, 7 p.m. would be ideal to keep the store open.' ”
Sunday sales have been worth opening so far for Dixie Beverage Co., but that’s only because Marietta, Powder Springs and Austell currently don’t allow the sale of packaged alcohol on Sundays, owner Jake Lee said. Right now, those customers are coming to his store, but when Sunday sales are allowed in their cities, it won’t be worth it to stay open, Lee said.
However, Lee said his store will have to remain open so he doesn’t lose business to other retailers. Right now, Lee said he typically has 500 to 600 customers on Sundays.
“That’s a lot for now because not everybody’s open,” he said.
But while he has hundreds of customers on Sundays, his Saturday business is being affected.
“People used to stock up for the weekend on Friday and Saturday, but now they don’t have to,” Lee said.
The Woodstock City Council approved a referendum allowing the sale of packaged alcohol on Sundays last May, and the residents voted on the issue in the November general election. The measure went into effect Nov. 20.
Sunday package sales have had mixed success throughout Cherokee County. In Holly Springs, the co-owner of Uncle Jack’s, the city’s only package store, said sales have been slow, which is just what he predicted. Sales there are spread out over seven days rather than six. In Canton, one retailer said his business has increased since Sunday sales became legal in December, while another said a spike in sales hasn’t been noticeable.