ABC ready to open its doors Sunday

Published 10:11 pm Friday, June 29, 2012

The four Alcoholic Beverage Control stores in Suffolk are preparing to open their doors for the first time Sunday.

The stores now will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. initially. Store hours will be re-evaluated individually after six months to determine whether customer demand supports them remaining open on Sundays.

The move came as a result of action by the General Assembly in the 2012 legislative session.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

The General Assembly has enacted three pieces of legislation permitting Sunday sales. In 2004, legislation allowed Sunday sales for 95 stores in Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

In 2008, new legislation expanded Sunday sales to cities with populations of 100,000 or more, which included 36 additional stores in Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake and Richmond.

This year’s legislation, which goes into effect Sunday, removes population restrictions and allows Virginia ABC to determine which stores to open.

“We will listen to our customers,” ABC Board Chairman Neal Insley said in a press release. “If customers and sales support the Sunday opening, the store will remain open.”

Past ABC Sunday sales legislation has positively impacted customer service, sales and revenue transfers to the state, according to the press release. In fiscal year 2008, Sunday sales for 95 stores totaled nearly $12 million. Based on comprehensive analysis, ABC anticipates a $9 million increase in sales resulting in a $2.5 million increase in incremental taxes and profit transfers over the next four years.