Municipal liquor stores reported record sales in 2011

ST. PAUL – During 2011, 16th Minnesota municipal liquor stores reported record sales for the 16th straight year, totaling $317.2 million in sales.

Total sales in 2011 increased by $3.8 million, 1.2 percent greater than 2010. Total sales ranged from $81,839 in Canton to $14.4 million in Lakeville, according to State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s 2011 Analysis of Municipal Liquor Store Operations.

The combined net profit of all municipal liquor stores was $23.4 million in 2011, a $1.7 million (eight percent) increase over 2010, according to the report.

Over the past five years, net municipal liquor store profits increased 4.4 percent. Off-sale stores showed a 6.5 percent net profit hike while on-sale stores showed a 9.9 percent decrease.

Area cities with municipal liquor stores and their 2011 net income were Fairfax $653, Hanska $11,962, Redwood Falls $128,164 and Sleepy Eye $176,785.

In 2011, 208 Minnesota cities operated 240 municipal liquor stores, with 114 cities operating both on-sale and off-sale establishments and 94 cities with off-sale only stores.

While most of the municipally-owned liquor stores are located in Greater Minnesota, 19 cities in the Seven-County Metro Area own and operate liquor stores.

For many communities in Greater Minnesota, municipal liquor operations provide access and convenience in areas that might be unable to attract a privately-run establishment.

In addition, profitable municipal liquor operations have provided another revenue source to supplement traditional tax and fee revenues.

Sales by all Metro Area operations averaged $3 million in 2011. Average sales in Greater Minnesota municipal liquor operations were $988,189.

To view the complete report including an executive summary, tables, charts and graphs, visit

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