“We’ve discussed different prices, but we don’t have a sure thing yet,” said Earl Clark, chair of Waynesville’s ABC board.
The ABC stores makes about $100,000 in profits a year, with a total of $2.1 million in liquor sales. Clark hopes the increased visibility of an ABC store near Super Walmart will mean more sales and in turn more money for the town.
Clark emphasized that a final verdict is still a couple of months away.
“We haven’t made a final decision yet,” Clark said. “We are still in the planning stages.”
The board did not factor any new ABC store costs into its budget for the upcoming fiscal year since it is unclear how much money will be needed. The ABC Board will amend the budget once the costs are known.
Clark has previously estimated that the total cost of the new store is expected to fall between $1 million and $1.25 million. The property will cost about $500,000, and the remaining amount will cover the cost of construction and the initial stocking for the 5,000-square-foot store, Clark said in March.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether sales from a second store would increase enough to cover not only the loan payments on the land and building but also all the additional salaries and overhead.
Waynesville currently has one ABC store on Walnut Street, which dates to 1967. The building is small and can only hold so much inventory. It is also located in a strip mall that’s somewhat off the beaten path from main commercial areas.
The ABC Board plans to operate both locations for at least a couple of years. However, if the board does not see a benefit from keeping both open, it will shut down the smaller, older store in favor of the more prime South Main Street locale.
Second store not a boon in Maggie
Waynesville could end up like Maggie Valley, which has struggled to make running two ABC stores pay off financially. Maggie Valley opened its second ABC store in 2009 on Dellwood Road.
Although the store, which is situated close to Waynesville’s doorstep, has managed to snag some customers who previously traveled to Waynesville’s liquor store, Maggie Valley’s second store has yet to pay off. Sales are barely robust enough to cover overhead at two locations, and the cost of building the new store has not yet been paid off.
The Maggie ABC board and town board have had ongoing discussions for more than a year on whether to close one of the two stores, and if so, which one.
The Maggie Valley stores lost nearly $24,000 last fiscal year and a little more than $38,000 the year prior.