Virginia ABC sales up in FY 2020, putting more money into state coffers
This according to draft financial statements released by ABC to the Virginia Department of Accounts and the Auditor of Public Accounts.
The gross revenue figure was up $117 million over FY 2019. The contribution to the state coffers was up $45.8 million.
Retail sales grew 18 percent, with 12 new ABC stores generating nearly $18.3 million in sales. ABC oversaw six store remodels and 13 store relocations to improved market areas, enhancing customer service and accessibility.
Online order growth was a major contributor in FY 2020, averaging 23 orders per day at the start of the fiscal year, and growing to 419 orders per day by July.
While the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has driven customers to order online, Virginia ABC expanded its services in May to include curbside pickup at 370 stores and a first-ever home shipping pilot in Suffolk in June.
Sunday sales also continued to play a role in the rising revenue, increasing by 18 percent in FY 2020 to $93.8 million.
“In the months leading up to the pandemic, our sales performance was strong with a 7% increase over the prior year,” ABC CEO Travis Hill said. “This growth is a testament to our efforts to improve customer experience by providing an assortment of products geared to consumer preferences and opening new store locations where population growth dictates. While we saw even greater growth as the pandemic took hold, we also had to meet the challenges of keeping our customers and employees safe.”
Sales figures to restaurant and hospitality businesses show the devastating impact the pandemic is having on these segments of our economy. In response to the challenges faced by its licensees, ABC provided relief from regulatory challenges by permitting the delivery and takeout of mixed beverages, accelerating the process for receiving outside dining area applications and deferring license renewal fees. Even with these measures in place, licensee sales finished FY 2020 at a 19 percent decrease over the prior year.
From March to July, as restaurants struggled with closures and limited operations as the result of COVID-19, sales to licensees ranged from 0 percent to 10.6 percent of ABC’s overall sales volume, with the majority of Virginia ABC’s sales increases coming from retail customers taking spirits home.
Sales to licensees historically represent 18 percent of ABC’s revenue.
“The pandemic has greatly affected our licensed establishments and Virginia’s distilled spirits industry. We will continue to work with them to understand their challenges and adjust our processes to ease some of their pandemic-related pressures whenever possible,” said Hill. “In this crisis, numbers only really tell part of the story. On the individual level, people are either looking for new employment or working under the challenges of the pandemic. ABC is no different than any other business in that our success this year would not have been possible without the commitment and sacrifice of our employees.”
The final, audited results will be released in the fall.
For more information about Virginia ABC’s sales and revenue, visit www.abc.virginia.gov.