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State ABC stores now open on Sunday

SoVaNow.com / July 02, 2012
Beginning Sunday all Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) retail locations that have not previously been open on Sundays will now be open from 1-6 p.m.

These expanded store hours are a result of the passage of House Bill 896 during the 2012 legislative session. The new law allows any ABC retail location to be open on Sundays.

The decision to keep a particular store open on Sundays will be driven by the customer. “We will listen to our customers,” said ABC Board Chairman Neal Insley. “If customers and sales support the Sunday opening, the store will remain open.”

Customers currently determine the hours of operation for all ABC stores. ABC’s 337 stores have closing times ranging from as early as 5 p.m. to as late as 10 p.m., all tied to customer demand.

ABC will monitor individual store activity and reevaluate each opening after six months. Stores not meeting criteria for customer counts, sales and profits will be closed on Sunday.

The General Assembly enacted three waves 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. This wave included 36 additional stores in the cities of Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake and Richmond. The third wave, which goes into effect July 1, removes population restrictions and allows Virginia ABC to determine which stores to open.

Past ABC Sunday sales legislation has positively impacted customer service, sales and revenue transfers to the Commonwealth. 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.

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