12/24/17 — Alcohol sales soar in the holiday season

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Alcohol sales soar in the holiday season

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on December 24, 2017 3:05 AM

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Teresa Vining, a clerk at the Wayne County ABC store on Landmark Drive, with gift sets that continue to be popular at Christmas and throughout the end of the year.

Holiday liquor sales remain popular as residents stock up on favorites, special gift sets and eggnog at Christmas and as the new year approaches.

Sales at area Alcoholic Beverage Control stores are the highest in December, with Christmas sales centering on more expensive alcohol purchases, said Michael Myrick, business manager for the Wayne County ABC Board. The weekend before New Year's Eve is also busy, with residents buying more alcohol.

"They buy more at New Year's but they buy more expensive bottles at Christmas," Myrick said. "It's the best-selling (weekends) we have in the year."

In addition to the Saturday before Christmas, Myrick expects long lines this Saturday, the last day ABC stores will be open this year.

"Our stores will be getting packed," he said. "We tell people to come early because people will be waiting in line. They'll start rolling in at 11 o'clock in the morning."

ABC stores have been stocked with favorite seasonal items, including gift sets that offer free glasses, decorative stirrers or cocktail sets, and different types of eggnog.

"We'll sell almost 150 cases of eggnog for the month of December," Myrick said.

Evan Williams Egg Nog with bourbon is a favorite, as well as cognac, rum and brandy eggnog, he said. Other types of liquor are also popular.

"At Christmas, the favorites are Crown Royal, Grey Goose, Seagram's gin but the most popular is Hennessy cognac," Myrick said. "The hottest spirit, at the present time, is Fireball. It's a cinnamon whiskey."

The county's five ABC stores, on Landmark Drive, U.S. 70 West, West Grantham Street, U.S. 70 East near LaGrange and North Breazeale Avenue in Mount Olive, are continuing to operate during regular business hours the rest of the year.

The Wayne County ABC stores collectively generated $8.8 million in revenue during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, with a half of the revenue going back into alcohol sales, $2 million being paid to the state and other revenues paying local expenses and operating costs. Local revenues also provide almost $77,000 for ABC law enforcement officers.

The stores generate revenue that returns to the community. During the last fiscal year, Wayne County received $200,000, the city of Goldsboro received $160,000 and the town of Mount Olive received $34,000, Myrick said.

Revenues also go toward alcohol education, with almost $6,000 for programs offered in the school system, Myrick said. ABC Boards across the state also fully fund the Talk It Out campaign, which warns of the dangers of under-age drinking and empowers parents to talk about the dangers of alcohol with their children.