Sunday sales is once again a top priority for some Democratic and Republican legislators this year. A bipartisan press conference was held on Thursday this week to announce the renewed effort to repeal the Sunday sales ban.
As one of only 12 states who still do not allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays, legislators argue we are leaving money on the table. Research shows Sunday alcohol sales could potentially generate between $7.6 and $10.6 million in new direct tax revenues for the state.
Consumer choice and granting businesses more autonomy are the biggest themes for promoting repeal of the law. Data shows shoppers tend to spend more on Sundays – on average 21% more – than any other day of the week. This fact was discussed heavily by liquor store business owners at this week’s press conference.
One liquor store owner said Saturday business is equal to about two days’ worth of week-day business, and he believes Sunday sales would follow Saturday trends. Another business owner of high-end liquor located in the Mall of America claimed that allowing Sunday sales would lead to between $50,000 and $100,000 of additional revenue per year. Other owners said being allowed to be open on Sundays could mean the difference between staying open and having to close up shop for good.
Legislators say support for repeal in the House is a big reason for the renewed push this legislative session. However, there is significant opposition to full repeal from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, as well as some small liquor store owners who argue staying open on Sundays would simply spread six days’ worth of sales over seven days. (S.F. 265)