CT Beer Trail

Connecticut Sunday Liquor Sales: A Craft Consumer's View

Re-posted from my blog: Malted Musings.

This past Sunday a law took effect in Connecticut that allowed beer and liquor to be sold on Sundays, thus ending the archaic "blue law." I, like other beer fans, took it upon myself to visit my local beer superstore to pick up a few bottles to commemorate the event. In doing this, though, I fell into the trap that several small business owners expressed concern about.

The common opinion, as far as I can tell, is that beer fans (or sports fans, or Americans obsessed with convenience) all enjoy the opportunity to pick up beer and liquor every day of the week now, even if it's not imperative that it be bought on a Sunday. The flip side is that some small business owners have expressed concern that Sunday sales will lose them money, because their regulars will only purchase beer on Sundays from mega-stores. Another concern is that the small businesses will have to hire on more people to stay open on Sundays, or lose the only day off they have.

I understand the concern of small business owners. I grew up working in a small computer repair business that is still owned by my family. I have seen how needy a business like that is, and experienced how small business owners (and workers like myself) are called upon to be extra flexible to stay in business and make as much of a profit to keep afloat as possible. I just don't really agree with the arguments that the media has portrayed small business owners having in regards to this law.

Liquor Sunday inaugural beers. Not SUPER fancy, but very tasty!

First, according to the local media at large, businesses are concerned that Sunday sales will drive away customers from them. I see a few flaws in this, the first being that Sunday isn't the only day people buy their beer and liquor. Say my favorite shop isn't open on Sundays (which it isn't, currently). The only thing this means to me is that I won't go to that package store on Sundays (when they aren't open anyway), and every other day of the week I'll go to my favorite local store. It's not like I'll throw my hands up at the thought of them having the nerve to close on Sundays and never visit again: no I'll just go there every other day of the week (I usually buy my beer on Fridays anyway).

Secondly, some businesses have expressed concern that they won't have money to stay open on Sunday. Well, they don't have to. My above argument expresses that Sunday isn't the only day that people shop for beer, and if a store has been a local favorite for decades now a consumer won't (or shouldn't) jump ship just because their favorite store isn't open on Sundays. This also takes into account concerns about staffing and overworking: just stay closed on Sunday. Let Sunday (one day out of the week) be the day that people buy their emergency beer at grocery stores, and every other day of the week it's business as usual at the local establishment.

I know the economy is tough, but I have a hard time believing that one business day (which wasn't even a 'business day' five days ago anyway!) will cripple package stores that are decades-old institutions. For my part, I still plan on supporting my local package store as usual, even if they aren't open on Sundays. I like Sunday sales just because it's an option. On the off chance I absolutely positively need beer on Sunday then I have that choice. If not I'll just keep buying on Fridays like I've been doing my entire adult life.

It seems like the whole "debate" may have been trumped up by the media, but I'm honestly curious. Are you a business owner/worker who thinks Sunday sales are the worst? Are you part of a small business and think the opposite? Or as a consumer what are your thoughts? I'd love you hear what you have to think. Until next time follow me on Blogger, Twitter, and Facebook, and don't forget to support your local package stores that have been supplying you with liquid enjoyment for your entire life!

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