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Liquor stores losing money

By Staff | Nov 12, 2017

Faribault County has four city-owned municipal liquor stores. They are located in Blue Earth, Elmore, Kiester, and Wells.

And, according to recently released figures from the state of Minnesota, three of those municipal liquor stores lost money in 2016.

Last year, it was reported in the Faribault County Register that both Blue Earth and Kiester netted profits from their communities, while Wells and Elmore lost money in 2015.

This year, Kiester has also lost money. All three of those cities were required by the state to hold a public informational meeting in 2017 to explain the 2016 loss.

For Elmore, the net loss amounted to $10,890, while Kiester actually surpassed Elmore’s loss, totalling $11,468. And for Wells, its liquor store lost $19,628 in 2015, and lost $33,930 in 2016. For Blue Earth’s Blue Earth Wine and Spirits, the store showed a net profit of $78,521, which is still approximately $56,600 less than 2015’s netted profit of $135,012.

Blue Earth’s 2016 net profit came from sales of $1,566,961, which ranked Blue Earth 61st in total sales out of all the 193 municipal liquor stores in the state. Ironically, Blue Earth was 61st last year, as well.

Blue Earth had another distinction when it came to profit margin. The municipal store ranked 94th (out of 195) in the state with their five percent margin of profit on sales.

Elmore’s liquor store was the worse for wear when it came to being ranked in the state of Minnesota for 2016.

They were third from the bottom for the second year in a row when it came to sales, coming in at 193 with $127,389 in sales. After deducting the cost of sales and expenses and adding $39 in nonoperating revenues, the city municipal ended with close to $11,000 in loss.

The Kiester municipal liquor store came in at No. 191 out of the 195 city-owned liquor stores when it came to sales, with $186,663.

And while Wells’ municipal liquor store ranked 105th in the state with sales totaling $647,190, the municipal had $511,444 in cost of sales, plus $198,015 in operating expenses. Adding $1,339 in non-operating revenues helped only slightly with the accumulated loss.

The highest grossing municipal liquor store in the state was Lakeville with $14.1 million in sales. They showed a profit of $880,867.

Highest percent of profit margin, 45.7 percent, was accomplished by Saint Hilaire whose enterprise operation was sold in 2016. No. 6 on that list was Fairmont, with 14.9 percent. They had gross revenues of $1 million.