Local liquor stores prepping for Sunday sales

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Sunday alcohol sales in the Hoosier state are just a signature away from becoming law.

If Governor Eric Holcomb signs the bill into law, stores could start selling alcohol on Sundays as soon as next Sunday, March 4th.

NewsChannel 15 spoke to Belmont Beverage Operations Manager Gary Gardner, who says they are ready to open their doors on Sunday.

“Sure. We’ll go for it. It’s simple for the grocery stores, a little tougher for us, but sure we’ll get it done,” said Gardner. “It’s no problem.”

Belmont Beverage has over 30 stores across Northern Indiana, and Gardner says they plan to open all locations on Sundays from Noon to 8 p.m. He thinks it will most likely take people awhile to get used to it, but he anticipates that sales could pick up after a few weeks.

“We’re just going to have them open and see what happens,” said Gardner. “I expect we’ll be busy. It’s going to take awhile to get going because people aren’t used to it. Probably a lot of people are going to forget about it the first few weeks, but it will start to come along and we’ll get busy.”

Gardner anticipates that they may have to hire a few more people to staff their locations, but he is not sure yet. He says they will try to function with the staff they have right now, and see if there are shortages and then adjust accordingly.

Gardner says he’s glad the Sunday sales will be starting when warmer weather is right around the corner. “We’re going into the summer months, thank goodness we’re not that far away. In the summer you’ve got picnics, volleyball, you’re going to the beach and the lake… all those things mean additional stops,” said Gardner. “I think it’s going to be a good chance for the Sunday sales to pick up steam and get rolling.”

But when it comes to more profit, Gardner is not as confident.

“I don’t know if we’re going to profit more in the long run,” said Gardner. “Just because stores are open on Sunday, doesn’t mean you’re going to sell or the state is going to sell a lot more beer and make more revenue for the state. People are generally going to buy… your’re going to space out your sales for seven days a week that you used to get out of six days a week.”

Once everyone knows the governor has signed it, Gardner says, it’s going to be a big splash and they will go from there. Gardner said if a particular Belmont Beverage location does not do well with sales, they would consider shutting the store on Sunday.