Sales at Virginia liquor stores surge 59%

ABC stores have seen a jump in sales amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Courtesy Virginia ABC)

There is no question that liquor stores throughout the D.C. region are doing a banner business right now, and sales numbers just released by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority show sales last week were up 59% from a year ago to $30.1 million.

The biggest jump was at Virginia’s ABC stores in Northern Virginia, where sales spiked 65% to $11.2 million, more than a third of all liquor sales at Virginia ABC stores.

Almost all of the business was with retail customers, as licensee sales dry up.

Bars and restaurants usually account for as much as 18% of ABC sales, but that fell to 2.5% last week.

Virginia ABC stores also operate a buy online, pickup in store e-commerce program, and it said those online sales last week increased fourfold over a typical week.

Liquor stores are officially considered essential businesses in emergency declarations across the country, and Virginia’s ABC stores will remain open, though as of March 27, hours at all 388 stores will be reduced from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to noon to 7 p.m. Stores will remain open seven days a week.

Below is a breakdown of Virginia ABC store sales by state region:

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