Licensed Beverage Association opposes Sunday liquor sales because members want a day off

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Image by Tatiana Craine -- bottles photo from stevendepolo's Flickr
Senator Reinert's Sunday liquor sales bill appears dead on arrival.
Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee held a brief hearing on a bill introduced by Sen. Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, that would legalize Sunday liquor sales.

SEE ALSO: Study: Sunday liquor sales would boost state revenue

Polling shows Minnesotans support Sunday sales by a two-to-one margin, yet the latest effort to eliminate the state's most notorious blue law seems just as doomed as previous ones.

A Pioneer Press report explains why:
[O]pponents [of Sunday sales] contend that, in practice, it would force liquor stores to stay open seven days a week.

"If you don't open on (a) seventh day and your competitors do, there goes your customer base," said Edward Reynoso, political director for Teamsters 32 Joint Council.

Maryann Campo, who opened South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis in 1975, said the bill would raise her store's labor costs without boosting profits.

"We don't see any economic advantage," Campo said. "Our customers have never asked us for Sunday sales."

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association has lobbied effectively against the change every year with the same argument: Its member stores want one day off a week, and the extra day merely would spread six days of sales over a full week.
Of couse, allowing liquor stores to be open Sunday wouldn't actually force store owners to be open Sunday, a distinction that isn't lost on Jason Alvey, owner of the Four Firkins liquor store in St. Louis Park.

"I pay rent 52 days a year that I'm not allowed to open my business, and I think that's very frustrating," Alvey told senators. "Just because the majority of liquor stores don't want to be open on a Sunday does not mean it should be a law."

Furthermore, does anyone really believe that being open Sunday wouldn't result in additional sales for liquor stores? Anecdotally, there have been many times when I've wanted to pick up a sixer on Sunday only to quickly realize I'd have to drive to Wisconsin to do so. (I then find myself whetting my whistle at the nearest bar.)

Nonetheless, the arguments made by Sunday sales opponents appear to have won the day again, as Reinert acknowledged to MinnPost that "this issue is not going anywhere" this year. A companion in the House probably won't even get a hearing, Reinert said.

"You have a powerful lobby in the liquor stores. You have a powerful union with the Teamsters, and those two pair up, and they're here every day talking to legislators," Reinert told MinnPost.

In other words, until Minnesotans start calling their legislators and making their support for Sunday sales loud and clear, the law won't change. Then again, it's probably easier to plan ahead and make a trip to the liquor store on Saturday (or go to the bar on Sunday) then it is to pick up the phone and give an elected official a piece of your mind.

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28 comments
ianroyal
ianroyal

the real waste is the that we're arguing this in 2013. if you don't want to open: don't. stop being dicks to those that want to. if you lose customers, boo-fucking-hoo. compete or die. don't hide behind your bribe handlers, i mean "lobbying group".  the issue isn't that complex. failing this passing, here is my free idea:

1. start a website based in wisconsin. 

2. sell liquor via that website (there are already plenty. you could even do sundays only.)

3. deliver on sunday. (it is already delivered via fedex/ups/etc via other websites. is it illegal to have home delivery on sunday?)

4. profit.

it's a simple solution, that appears to be unused. wisconsin liquor stores would be wise to start this.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Funny how most people that don't want this are some pissed wife of a liquor store owner or rep. Any law that is based on religion or Sabbath should be done away with. Coming from Indiana where you can buy wine in grocery stores (gasp) its an obvious yes. Anyone that doesn't agree that we should have Sunday sales is an idiot. Flat out. Old school. Idiot. 

With that said, I feel a bar should be allowed to be smoking if it wants to. You don't have to go. I don't go to gay bars. Whatever happened to rights. Land of the free. Ha. Land of the law more like it. 

ned0
ned0

 Mark me down Mary "Our customers have never asked us for Sunday sales" Campo. - Dan. South Minneapolis

Percy
Percy

This argument of no more customers and higher expenses just doesn't hold water. Liquor stores can still choose not to be open on Sundays or have shorter hours, just like restaurants choose to be closed on Mondays.  I agree with the Four Firkin's owner he pays rent 365 days per year and should be allowed the option of being open on Sundays if he so decides to do so. Also if this were a bad thing you wouldn't see stores being open on Sundays in Wisconsin or the many other states. Somehow I don't think MN is that "special".

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

liquor should only be available 1 day per week....watch society crumble on its crutch

Doua H Ly
Doua H Ly

Sunday sales in Hudson > any other day

Curt Rawn
Curt Rawn

Grocery stores in Iowa sell liquor every day until 2 am!

Grant Adams
Grant Adams

They would rather have the day off than make more money and have higher sales? That's possibley the dumbest thing I've read today. Come on let's catch up with the times here. More sales = more money in tax revenue. So where's the problem?

Lisa Patton
Lisa Patton

If you want days off on weekends, you shouldn't OWN A STORE.

Nordeastmpls
Nordeastmpls

Is a liquor store not a retail establishment? I don't know of any other stores that are not allowed to be open whenever they want. 

amiller92
amiller92

Apparently people should start mentioning it every time they go to the store.

Adam Wolkoff
Adam Wolkoff

MLBA thwarts the will of the people...again....year after year...Follow the money.

Michelle McElroy
Michelle McElroy

This state sometimes reminds me of the movie, "Footloose."

Michelle McElroy
Michelle McElroy

This state sometimes reminds me of the movie, "Footloose."

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Why am I not surprised? Mn has some of the lamest, outdated liquor laws in America. For instance, the stupid growler sales restrictions, onsite off-sale...etc.

jeffzaayer
jeffzaayer

Judging by Mrs. Campo's testimony she is really muddying the water speaking on behalf of a liquor store that she doesn't own and has a pretty glaring conflict of interest given that she is a lobbyist for the Tavern League of MN.  http://www.lobbyminnesota.com/team/maryann-campo/

Tanner Slade Olson
Tanner Slade Olson

Or allow them the choice to be open on Sunday or not. They would get all the business in town.

Tanner Slade Olson
Tanner Slade Olson

I think there are more then plenty of people willing to work Sunday. Put non32 beer in gas stations and serve until 2 am as well.

Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

I get it. Sales means u typically work either Saturday or Sunday if not both..... I work wed-sun so I don't feel bad. If u want employment shut up and work when they schedule you! Someone else would love to work Sundays if that meant employment.

Paul Lockman
Paul Lockman

What is the logic behind not being open on Sundays anyways ? And how come other states don't abide by the same laws ?

Paul Lockman
Paul Lockman

What is the logic behind not being open on Sundays anyways ? And how come other states don't abide by the same laws ?

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

You can be open for sales 7 days a week and still give people a day off. I've seen it done a number of times, in a number of industries.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

You can be open for sales 7 days a week and still give people a day off. I've seen it done a number of times, in a number of industries.

jimhl
jimhl

@Nordeastmpls  A liquor store is not like any other retail store.  Their hours of being open are controlled, the customer base is controlled by age, even the type of products they can legally sell is controlled.  They are subject to fines and suspension of license if found to be in violation of ANY of the above. The state of Minnesota has reams and reams of rules and regulation covering the sale of, shall we say, 'adult beverages '. Although an on sale account just ask Granite City, Eagan why they had their license suspended for 30 days plus a huge fine for mulitple license violations.

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