Tough Economic Times Pose A Boost In Liquor Sales
Economic downturns are well known for the negative impact they make on almost every industry. From the retail business to the manufacturing sector, the slowdown in consumption significantly affect the profitability and in other more stringent cases, the very survival of such companies—not for alcohol. Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has seen a steady climb in sales across state-owned stores, according to recent reports by board officials.
From July to Dec. 31, the mid-point of fiscal 2008-09, state store sales were $1.02 billion--nearly 7 percent higher than the same period last year.
One of Olney’s oldest liquor store is no exception. Even though Broad and Rockland Beer Distributor is not a state-owned store, it has managed to cope with the recession. Located at the intersection of Broad and Rockland--hence the name, the store has seen a slight increase in its sales since the recession began. Lidy, one of the workers at the iconic beer distributor says she’s noticed more people come through the store. Tom, one of Rockland’s loyal patrons firmly states, “I come her to forget about the recession.” He unapologetically continues as he walks from one end of the store to the other and waits for one of the two workers to load a couple of beer cases into the trunk of his car, “Beer is a cheap way to get your mind outta things.” “All you hear is bad news.”
But as in every past U.S. recession, liquor sales usually tend to go up according to industry figures. One possible explanation for this oddity could be the relative low impact alcohol has on people’s budget. When times are tough people spend their money in activities that involve interaction with friends and family. Box office sales, and video games have also seen an increase in sales despite the economic woes. Perhaps because they are affordable ways to get away from financial problems, just like alcohol consumption but without the hangover.
By Julio C. Nunez, Casey Snyder and Mary Saito. Sp0909Olney/Logan