State liquor sales continue to remain up despite the slower economy. Alcoholic Beverages Division administrator, Lynn Walding, says nearly nine months into the fiscal year, sales have seen some impact from the economy.
Walding says liquor sales in dollars for the year so far are up eight percent, which he says is down from last year when the state saw double digit increases. He says the market is responding as the premium brands aren’t doing as well in the past. Walding says Iowa’s liquor sales are doing better than surrounding states.
Walding says it appears more people are enjoying their favorite alcoholic beverage at home to save money. He says there appears to be a trend of people buying more alcohol to drink at home and holding private parties so they can avoid paying the markup on the alcohol from retailers.
Walding says there’s more of the stay at home drinking than there is people buying cheaper alcohol brands to save money. Walding says alcohol sales from month to month have been all over.
Walding says they’ve been on a rollercoaster ride in sales with sales up double digits one month and then down the next throughout the year. Walding says the up and down nature of sales could be due to suppliers offering sales to retailers to generate business. Walding says alcohol companies are taking some of the same steps as car makers in offering rebates to try and spur sales of their product.
Walding says several of the premium alcohol suppliers are trying to keep loyal customers. He says they will go so far as to offer one case deals — where buyers for example — could get a $25 rebate for buying just one case of their product. Walding says they are apparently trying to keep loyal customers with their brand through the down economic times.
State liquor sales hit a record $188-million last fiscal year, and state figures show sales so far this fiscal year are up about $11.4 million. The flooding last year forced many businesses that sell alcohol to close in the final month of the fiscal year — so if the current trend continues — alcohol sales could hit the 200-million dollar mark.