Year in Review: Forsyth approves Sunday alcohol sales

March: Liquor stores don’t see rise in sales, but like the flexibility



FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Beginning March 18, liquor stores in the Forsyth County were given the green light to sell alcohol on Sundays.

Voters changed the law on March 6 — by 69 percent in favor in the county and 61 percent in favor in the city of Cumming, which also had the issue on its ballot.

For consumers like Linda Miller, of Cumming, allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday was a “brilliant” idea.

And although it’s been convenient for drinkers, stores that sell alcohol have had mixed results.

Ever since voters in Forsyth approved the Sunday sales of alcohol, many local vendors who sell beer and wine have not seen a spike in business — just more expenses.

What used to be a day off for the small business owners is no longer a viable option.

At the Beverage World-Cumming, 745 Lanier 400 Parkway, closing the doors on Sunday is no longer an option.

With competing supermarkets and convenience stores, places that sell liquor say they need any competitive edge they can get.

Many who were interviewed for this story said Sunday sales simply stole business from Saturday night shoppers.

Alcohol sales on Christmas Day are still prohibited under county code. During election days, alcohol can only be sold by outlets that are not located within 250 feet of a polling place.

Alcohol sales are allowed to be sold on Sundays between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., which owners say have certainly helped boost supermarkets and convenience store sales.

Nationally, Indiana and Connecticut are the only two states that have statewide bans on Sunday retail sales of alcohol.

In November 2011, voters in nearby jurisdictions such as Fulton, Dawsonville, Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Oakwood approved Sunday package sales of alcohol. Dawson and Hall counties also approved the measure March 6.

“It’s convenient to the customer,” said Mike Yi, owner of the Cumming Beverage Mart, 1770 Buford Highway, “But it’s not really increasing our customers. We do have some business on Sunday and it’s actually better than Monday most weeks.”

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