Bad economy means better alcohol sales

By Lakecia Shockley - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

It's no doubt economic hardship affects East Texas businesses whether it be good or bad.

National studies show that when it comes to alcohol sales, the grim economy is affecting them in a good way. For some folks, dealing with hard times means taking down a long hard drink.

It's a sight you're likely to see more often, big shipments, arriving at East Texas liquor stores.

"Sales are doing great," exclaimed Dana Leavitt, Vice-president of Don's Food Stores. "They're up about 25 percent over this time last year."

Don's Food Stores operate Don's Discount Liquors and Don's Beer Barn, all in Longview.

"Crown royal is a big seller for us," said Leavitt. "A lot of our wines are selling right now."

From Bacardi to various vodkas, Don's Liquor Store said hard economic times lead drinkers straight to their business.

"I think when times are hard and people are working extra hours to make ends meet," said Leavitt. "I think it helps people relax during these hard economic time and what we're going through right now."

Beer, wine, and alcohol sales are also booming at Harley's Liquor Store. Richard Mullinax is store manager.

"Big sellers? Melot, Cabernet, Chardonay. They pretty much are going to buy what they want," said Mullinax. "If times stay hard they will still, but maybe they will go from a 15 bottle of wine to a 10 bottle."

Mullinax said he belives alcohol sales are up because restaurant sales are down.

"People are not eating out as much. People are coming in and actually buying liquor here and then taking it home," he said.

So, alcohol sales are up, and a possible economic hangover for folks in East Texas is still uncertain.

The liquor store reps we talked to say sales on other items are also booming. Lottery tickets, cigarettes, and other products that go along with drinking have significantly went up in sales as well.