Virginia alcohol sales surge, record profits for ABC stores - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Virginia alcohol sales surge, record profits for ABC stores

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Virginia's alcohol stores racked in record profits in 2012. The ABC believes the surge in sales to restaurants and consumers pointed to improvements in the economy.

"In the worst of the recession, we saw alcohol sales to restaurants dip," said Becky Gettings, Public Affairs Director with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). "Now consumers are having more drinks at dinner, rather than saying it's too expensive."

Total alcohol sales across the state reached $734 million in fiscal year 2012, up $41 million from the previous year. An increase in sales was also attributed to more ABC stores open on Sunday, when most food purchases are made.

"Sunday sales began in 2004, and now all but three of our 339 stores have Sunday hours," Gettings said in an interview Thursday. "People find it more convenient to do their shopping then and that has helped us."

Profits for ABC stores across the state reached $132.1 million. According to figures from the ABC, the Department gave a record $360 million to Virginia's general fund, supporting state services such as substance abuse prevention and treatment.

ABC stores reported 99 percent compliance in not selling to minors, an improvement from 98 percent in 2011.

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