homepage logo


City liquor sales vary across county

By Staff | Dec 11, 2016

Wells’ municipal liquor store, shown here, was required to hold a public meeting in 2016 to address profit losses from the year before.

There are four city-owned municipal liquor stores in Faribault County, and according to recently released figures from the state of Minnesota, two had good years in 2015, and two did not.

The off-sale liquor municipal stores in Blue Earth and Kiester made a profit for their communities, while the ones in Wells and Elmore did not, and in fact lost money last year.

And those two, in Wells and Elmore, were required by the state to hold a public informational meeting in 2016 to explain the 2015 loss.

For Wells, the net loss amounted to $19,628, while in Elmore the loss total was $8,281.

In Blue Earth, the Blue Earth Wine and Spirits store showed a net profit of $135,012 in 2015. That amount came from sales of $1,535,842.

That $1.535 million in sales ranked Blue Earth 61st in total sales out of all the 193 municipal liquor stores in the state.

Kiester only showed sales of $192,831 in 2015, which ranked it near the bottom of the total sales list, at No. 188. However, they showed a net profit of $4,002 on that revenue after expenses.

Elmore did not fare as well. They were third from the bottom of the list when it came to sales, coming in at No. 191 with $122,247. After deducting the cost of sales and expenses and adding $392 in nonoperating revenues the city municipal ended with the over $8,000 loss.

The Wells municipal actually came in at No. 101 out of the 193 city-owned liquor stores when it came to sales, with $679,392.

But, the municipal had $513,534 in cost of sales, plus $188,996 in operating expenses. That gave them a loss of $23,138, but they added back in $3,510 in non-operating revenues.

Thus the total loss became $19,628 for the off-sale liquor store.

It was back in August of 2014 when the city of Wells closed down the on-sale bar portion of the municipal, and went strictly to off-sale liquor sales.

Blue Earth had another distinction when it came to its profit margin. The municipal store ranked 49th (out of 193) in the state with their 8.8 percent margin of profit on sales.

Kiester was at No. 132 with a 2.1-percent net profit as a percent of sales.

Wells and Elmore were two of 34 cities that showed a loss, with two other cities showing a zero profit/loss number.

Wells was No. 182, out of 193, with a -2.9 percent and Elmore was No. 186 with a -6.8 percent.

The highest grossing municipal liquor store in the state was Lakeville with $13.6 million in sales. They showed a profit of $761,908.

Highest percent of profit margin, 17.3 percent, was accomplished by Roseau. No. 3 on that list was Fairmont, with 15.6 percent. They had gross revenues of $3.6 million.