RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — Liquor sales in Virginia were at an all-time high over the last year as Virginia ABC took in more than $1 billion.
The record-breaking revenue was up more than $71 million from the previous year in fiscal year 2019.
“ABC’s revenue growth is primarily the result of adding stores around the state to improve customer convenience, a robust series of targeted seasonal promotional campaigns and changing consumer trends,” said Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “We opened seven new stores in the last fiscal year, which provided greater accessibility for customers and increased sales. Customers aren’t necessarily drinking more; they’re buying more premium products that have a higher per bottle price tag. Additionally, they’re choosing distilled spirits over other products.”
The new stores generated about $8 million in sales, according to a press release.
All retail sales grew just over 7% and licensee sales (sales to restaurants) grew by 6.3%.
Sunday sales, which have only been allowed in recent years, generated $79 million.
“Our 4,000 full and part-time employees are our most valuable asset,” said Hill. “From the local ABC store associates who share their knowledge of distilled spirits to help you find the perfect gift for a bourbon-loving friend, to the hard-working warehouse employees who accurately pick and ship millions of cases of product each year, Virginia ABC was able to reach this $1 billion milestone. It’s because of these dedicated employees that we are able to serve as a dependable and consistently growing source of revenue for the commonwealth.”
For fiscal year 2019, the Virginia ABC disbursed a total of $499.5 million back to the commonwealth, which was $34.8 million more than the previous year.
According to an infographic posted to Virginia ABC’s Facebook page, 40 percent of its income goes toward education.
The top five brands purchased through Virginia ABC in fiscal year 2019 were Tito’s Handmade domestic vodka, Hennessy VS cognac, Jack Daniel’s 7 Black Tennessee whiskey, Jim Beam straight bourbon and Fireball Cinnamon. The top two sellers also saw the greatest increase in sales from the previous year.