People who buy liquor and people who sell it bring different perspectives to the question of whether to expand liquor sales to seven days a week.
"It is definitely more of a convenience for the public to be open Sundays, but from economic standpoint I don’t know that our liquor store bottom line would increase," said Darin Nelson, finance director and interim city manager for the City of Fridley, which operates two municipal liquor stores.
A bipartisan bill reintroduced in the Minnesota Senate this week aims to repeal the long-standing ban of selling off-sale liquor on Sundays—and would allow liquor store owners the option of being open for business seven days a week.
Currently, Minnesota is one of 12 states that still ban liquor sales on Sunday.
"We just want to keep things as they are," Frank Ball, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, told the Star Tribune. "Wisconsin's got their way of doing things, and Minnesotans have their way of doing things."
The bill was reintroduced by Senators Roger Reinert (D-Duluth) and Jeremy Miller (R-Winona).
Nelson said in an email Tuesday that Sunday liquor sales might help stores in cities bordering other states, but it's not clear they would benefit municipal stores in Fridley:
Sunday liquor sales are debated on almost an annual basis. These debates tend to start from cities that border other states, which I believe all allow Sunday liquor sales. I have had several discussions with my liquor store operations manager about Sunday liquor sales. For the most part, people within our city or area are conditioned to purchase their liquor prior to Sunday. I do believe our sales would likely increase some, but what I don’t know is if our sales would increase enough to cover the additional expenses of being open an additional day. Right now, Mondays are our slowest day and that is after being closed on Sunday. If we were to be open seven days a week, I suspect Monday sales would see a further reduction. Essentially we would be spreading six days of sales over seven days.
Last June, 59 percent of Minnesotans polled by Public Policy Polling said they are in favor of the proposal. Two years ago, MinnPost took a look at who backs Sunday sales, who opposes and why.
The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. If the Senate Commerce Committee Chair decides to hear the bill it will continue to move along in the political process; if not, the bill is likely to die before making it to the floor for discussion.