Pandemic Proved Profitable For Minnesota Municipal Liquor Stores
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota municipal liquor stores have enjoyed record sales for 25 straight years.
An annual report from the Minnesota State Auditor shows municipal liquor operations statewide posted sales totaling just over $410 million in 2020. That is up more than 10 percent, or about $38.5 million when compared to the previous sales record from 2019. The Lakeville municipal liquor operation had the highest sales total at about $18.3 million.
The net profits reported by the municipal liquor operations rose to $36 million last year. The report says that is an increase of nearly 30 percent from the previous year, or about $8.2 million. The State Auditor sites the impact of the pandemic for the extraordinary increase in profits, noting earnings from on-sale operations declined more than 11 percent while net profits from off-sale operations were up more than 35 percent.
Not all of the "munis" performed well in 2020. 37 of the operations reported net losses for the year. 36 of the money-losing operations were in greater Minnesota, including West Concord, Spring Grove, Medford, and Ellendale in this region.
The most profitable municipal liquor store in the state, when based on net profit as a percent of sales, is located near Rochester. The Plainview "Muni" reported a gross profit of $246,000 on sales of about $735,000 for a margin of 33.6 percent.