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Three county liquor stores show losses

By Staff | Nov 4, 2018

Once again, three of the four municipal (city-owned) liquor stores in Faribault County, showed net loss for the year, according to a report from the Minnesota State Auditor, Rebecca Otto.

The report shows that for the 2017 year, the municipal liquor stores in Elmore, Kiester and Wells were three of the 54 city-owned liquor stores that showed a net loss for the year.

Elmore showed a net loss of $11,308, Kiester a net loss of $7,479 and Wells a loss of $6,462.

The Blue Earth municipal liquor store, Blue Earth Wine and Spirits, showed a net profit for 2017 of $48,875.

City-owned liquor stores that show a loss in two of the last three years are required to hold a public hearing concerning the future of the liquor store. Elmore, Kiester and Wells were on the list of 37 cities required to hold a hearing.

Seven other cities which would have been required to hold public hearings due to lost revenue did not have to because they had either been discontinued by the city or had been sold. The report covered a total of 190 municipals in the state.

By total amount of sales, Blue Earth ranked at No. 62, with sales of $1,599,275. Wells was at No. 100 with sales of $722,973.

Elmore and Kiester were near the bottom of the list. Kiester was at 185 with total sales of $173,051, while Elmore was at No. 187 with sales of $136,911.

The stores at Nos. 186, 188, 189 and 190 are on the list of those which ceased to operate in 2017.

Ranked by the amount of net profit or loss as a percent of sales, Blue Earth came in at No. 113, Wells at No. 147, Kiester at No. 172 and Elmore at 182.

The combined net profit of all the municipal liquor stores in Minnesota totaled $23.1 million in 2017. This represents an increase of $286,832, or 1.3 percent, over the amount generated in 2016.

Over the past five years, however, net profits have decreased by 13.7 percent.

However, while net profits have decreased, overall sales at city-owned liquor stores have increased for 22 consecutive years. In 2017 total sales increased by $4.5 million, or 1.3 percent, to $348.9 million, over 2016.