This could be a vintage year for Lakeville’s municipal liquor stores.
Combined, sales at the three locations are on a record pace, said Brenda Visnovec, the City of Lakeville’s liquor operations director.
Individually, each has seen an increase in business so far this year.
For the first six months of this year, the stores combined for $7 million in sales, up 7.1 percent over the same time last year.
“Seven point one percent sounds terrific,” Visnovec said. “But, what this represents is $465,000.”
This year’s record sales pace is good news for Lakeville Liquors, especially considering total sales figures were lower last year.
Visnovec blamed 2011’s dip to an uncertain economy and increased competition from liquor retailers in Burnsville, where four new stores—including Costco—opened.
She did not pin credit for the sales uptick on a trial run of extending store hours by an hour Monday through Thursday. Since April 1, all three stores have remained open until 10 p.m. on weekdays.
Combined sales for that extra hour between April 1 and July 1 were $77,196, a total Visnovec said was not significant.
“It represents just 16 percent of our increased sales,” she said.
Remaining open an extra hour on weekdays is more for customer convenience rather than to drive additional sales, Visnovec said.
“We felt compelled to try it as a service to our residents,” she said. “Instead of them driving to another community, we would keep them within our own community.”
The City Council is expected to decide whether to make the extended store hours permanent sometime next month.