While fewer alcohol bottles were sold in March, shoppers at Utah state-run liquor stores helped mitigate potential revenue losses by spending more per container than usual.
Man Deep, CFO of the Dubai World Trade Center, told the Government Beverages Committee on Tuesday that bottle sales for the Utah alcoholic beverage control department in Utah had decreased by 480,000 from March 2019. Bottle sales so far have fallen by more than 1.1 million, or 2.95%.
(Christopher Sherrington | Salt Lake Tribune)
The reason, of course, is that bars and restaurants across the state have closed their dining service since mid-March to encourage social distancing during the Corona virus epidemic. State law prohibits the sale of alcohol through receipt or delivery – although customers can enter some bars, breweries, and distilleries to make a purchase.
Overall, though, total retail alcohol sales last month were almost $ 43 million, compared to the $ 39 million recorded in March 2019.
Officials said that since the restrictions of COVID-19, traffic in liquor stores has jumped around 7%. Utines spent more than usual because she followed directions to stay at home from Gov. Gary Herbert and health departments in the area.
Average bottle price last month was $ 11.53, up from $ 9.28 for the same month last year. Since a year now, the average bottle price has increased by more than 8%.
However, Sal Petelos, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Center, is preparing for the worst when the April numbers are calculated.
He said: “In April, we will see the full impact of the closures that have occurred with the licensees,” noting that bars and restaurants serving alcohol make up about 20% of the state’s alcohol revenue.
He warned the committee: “When the data is completed, we will see a reduction.”
Last week, there was more bad news for the department. It had to close two liquor stores after staff tested positive for COVID-19. The Moab outlet, which closed last Thursday, has been closed and will reopen on Wednesday. Murray’s store closed on Monday. Officials did not say when it might be reopened.
DABC has already seen slow alcohol sales after a new state law was passed on November 1 allowing the sale of up to 5% alcohol by volume in grocery stores and convenience stores. About 100 beers previously sold in liquor stores – and were among the state’s best-selling books – were taken to retail outlets.
The impact on DABC earnings was immediate. In December, beer sales in state-run stores fell 43% compared to the same period a year earlier. These losses were offset by higher sales of wine and spirits, which have grown for several years by almost 6% annually.
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