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Archive for Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Sunday liquor store sales flat in Lawrence

Owners say city’s vote hasn’t spiked business

November 25, 2003

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When the Lawrence City Commission voted in July to allow liquor stores to open for business on Sundays, the vote was supposed to help increase sales.

Instead, some liquor store owners say sales have been as flat as old beer.

"We haven't really seen any increase at all," said Janet Durkin, owner of Glass House Liquors, 2301 Wakarusa Drive.

Durkin, like many liquor store owners in Lawrence, supported the move to open on Sundays, but she has not seen the hoped-for results.

"During the first two weeks, people were excited," Durkin said. "Now ... the day just drags."

Durkin said sales on Saturday and Monday had dipped considerably, and customer buying habits had changed.

"It seems like people are buying smaller packages ... they used to stock up on Monday," Durkin said.

At Parkway Wine and Spirits, 3514 Clinton Parkway, owner Brian Fadden has yet to see a spike in his Sunday sales. But he said it was too early to judge the effect of the ordinance.

"I can't really quantify and say my sales are up 'x' percent because of Sundays," Fadden said. "Maybe in six months I'll say it didn't really make a difference."

Fadden said most people who stopped at his store on Sundays were regular customers. He said he had capitalized on game day crowds headed to Arrowhead Stadium.

Parkway Wine and Spirits employee Brett Emert stocks beer in the
cooler. Despite selling liquor on Sundays, some Lawrence liquor
store owners say they haven't seen a significant increase in sales.

Parkway Wine and Spirits employee Brett Emert stocks beer in the cooler. Despite selling liquor on Sundays, some Lawrence liquor store owners say they haven't seen a significant increase in sales.

"They come in and stock up before they go to Missouri," Fadden said. "Then they tailgate over there."

Fadden said he thought his location next to a grocery store, which counts Sundays among its best sales days, helped boost the weekend sales.

"It's really easy for people to just come over here after grocery shopping," Fadden said.

Lawrence followed the lead of several other northeastern Kansas communities after Wyandotte County District Court ruled the state's Liquor Control Act does not apply uniformly to all communities. Under the opinion, Kansas cities have the right to "opt out" of the law by passing a charter ordinance.

But the decision is being challenged by Atty. Gen. Phill Kline in the Kansas Supreme Court. A reversal there would make the debate over Sunday sales moot.























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