Thirsty Thursday? How midweek and weekend Virginia booze sales stack up

If you don’t like lines, Thursday may be a better day than Saturday to shop for booze in Virginia.

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has released its fiscal year 2023 sales results, and Saturday is still the biggest day for sales.

Saturday sales at the state’s 339 ABC stores totaled $280.4 million in fiscal 2023 — almost 25% of weekly retail sales. Sunday sales totaled $102.3 million.

Daily sales rose every day except Thursday.

Virginia ABC stores sell to both retail customers and businesses that hold liquor licenses, such as bars and restaurants. Retail sales rose by $44.6 million to $1.18 billion, with $8.8 million in online sales. Sales to licensees totaled $250.4 million, an increase of nearly $21 million, indicating what ABC calls continued strength of Virginia’s hospitality industry.

The total $1.5 billion in sales was up $54.3 million over fiscal 2022. Those sales include distilled spirits, Virginia wines and mixers and the collection of license fees and other revenue.

Earnings from Virginia’s state-run liquor stores are designated for state programs and services. For fiscal 2023, ABC contributed $609.7 million, an increase of $2 million, in profits from retail sales, as well as taxes collected.

The ABC board uses previous year sales to set budget expectations for current fiscal years. The budget adopted projects revenue growth of 5.1% as a result.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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