Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Sunday sales boon?

Lawrence liquor store owners have given up their Sundays off, but will it help their bottom line?

November 26, 2003

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Wouldn't it be ironic if about the time the Kansas Legislature gets around to formally giving local governments the right to allow Sunday liquor sales, the liquor store owners decide it really isn't worth it to keep their shops open seven days a week?

Two stories in Tuesday's Journal-World seem to indicate such a scenario is a possibility.

A proposal endorsed by a legislative study committee Monday would rewrite state liquor laws to permit communities of more than 5,000 people to allow liquor stores to be open on Sunday and allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer on Sunday. Some communities, however, already are allowing Sunday liquor sales, based on a Wyandotte County district judge's ruling last year. The ruling said that because the state's Liquor Control Act isn't uniform, cities and counties could exempt themselves from some of its provisions.

Lawrence took advantage of that ruling, but after about three months of being open on Sunday, many local liquor store owners aren't seeing benefits. Those interviewed for a story on Tuesday's J-W business page indicated that being open on Sunday hadn't been a boon to their overall sales volume. It may be convenient for customers, but they don't seem to be buying more. So the expense of keeping the store open another day each week may not be paying off.

The stores seeing the greatest benefit from Sunday sales probably are those located near state lines. Because Missouri allows liquor sales on Sunday, many stores on the Kansas side of the state line believed they were losing a lot of business on Sunday.

Interestingly, if the Legislature approves changes in the state's Liquor Control Act, communities, like Lawrence, that already have approved Sunday sales would have to go through that process again to make it official. After having a few months to try it out, will local liquor store owners be as eager for approval of Sunday sales as they were the first time around?

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