Wadena Liquor Store keeps hard at work with 32% increase in sales for March

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Customers purchase alcohol at the Wadena Liquor Store. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

The Wadena Liquor Store has seen an increase in sales throughout March and into April, according to store manager Tim Booth. Normally more quiet days have seen as much as a 300% sales increase, as Booth said. The sales for March 2020 were $236,427.70 in comparison to March 2019 at $179,740.58.

The store experienced an increase in sales when Gov. Tim Walz declared the peacetime emergency on March 13, which matched trends across the United States from the Nielsen report as alcohol sales increased by 55% from last year during the week of March 15, according to CNN .

“People were not sure what was going to happen,” Booth said.

Booth also said the sales are going up because of the closures of restaurants and bars.

“People, of course, they can’t go out and have a beer anywhere so they’re buying extra,” Booth said.


Since people are buying extra alcohol, the store has experienced some product issues, including box wine, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and other popular items, according to Booth. He has not experienced problems with any of the beer. For the week of March 30, Nielsen reported a total alcohol sales increase of 25% with three-liter boxes of wine up 82%, according to Business Insider .

The rumors of the Wadena Liquor Store closing were clarified on March 13 with a post confirming the store open and on March 30 the hours were adjusted to Monday to Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and closed on Sundays. As the store continues to remain open, staff are working with the public and wondering if they too might get sick, Booth said. A new part of their days are cleaning door handles, credit card machines and shopping carts every hour, according to Booth and a Facebook post.

Booth said he feels “very lucky” to have a caring and hardworking staff who are ringing up customers, running for products and carrying items to cars for the drive up service. The process is “pretty slick,” as Booth said, with the product prepared and then delivered to your car. Customers can call in their orders with the products’ name and brand, bottle size and quantity, according to a Facebook post.

“Our staff has been wonderful, everybody that works here they’ve gone way overboard on doing cleaning and keeping things … sanitized. The staff have been wonderful,” Booth said.

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The line at the Liquor Store is set at a distance of six feet apart with orange tape on the ground for customers to stand on. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

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