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Control State Sales Jump, Reflecting Off-Premise Bounce

April 2, 2020

With the off-premise booming in recent weeks, control states have also been seeing sharp sales increases. From February 1 through March 22, New Hampshire saw total sales jump 17% to $109 million against the year-earlier period, including a 21% increase to $70.8 million for spirits and an 11% bump to $38.2 million for wine. Total volume was up 14% to 767,000 cases during the period.

In Pennsylvania, wine and spirits sales accelerated from a 5.8% gain in January to 12.3% in February, before surging 57.9% to $181.3 million from March 1 through March 17, when the state closed its Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) stores and online sales. That move resulted in reports of significant border bleed to the neighboring markets of Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia where retail outlets remain open. Last night, the PLCB announced it would resume limited online sales, with consumers able to purchase up to six bottles from a slimmed-down catalogue of top-selling wines and spirits, to be delivered to homes or non-store residences.

Ohio and Virginia have also reported rapid gains in recent weeks. Ohio’s spirits sales were up 14% year-on-year in February to $76.7 million, and they jumped 52% to $85.2 million from March 1 through March 22. Case sales leapt 26% from February 1 through March 22 to 766,000 cases. In Virginia, meanwhile, ABC store sales were up 59% to $30.1 million in the week through March 21.—Daniel Marsteller

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