New Hampshire’s alcohol sales spiked during pandemic

New Hampshire’s alcohol sales spiked during pandemic

August 13, 2021 0 By Christian Wade

New Hampshire alcohol sales broke records during the pandemic, helping fuel the state’s economic recovery, according to a new report.

In an annual revenue report, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission said the state saw more than $801 million of gross alcohol sales in the fiscal year that ended on June 30. That’s an increase of about 5%, or $35 million, over the previous year.

The commission also reported a record $177 million in total revenue for the state. That’s an increase of nearly 14% from the previous year.

Commission Chairman Joseph Mollica attributed the boost in sales to a number of factors, including “the ongoing effort to relocate and renovate our outlets, implementing strategic marketing efforts to maximize revenue and continuing to build strong relationships with suppliers to deliver the highest quality products and the most expansive selection to our customers.”

“This milestone would not have been possible without our dedicated team who work tirelessly to provide the best shopping experience for our consumers,” he wrote.

While many retail outlets were forced to close last year to prevent spread of the coronavirus, New Hampshire kept its state-run liquor stores open during the pandemic.

The state is also a magnet for consumers from Massachusetts who often cross the border to buy cheaper booze in the Granite State, which has no state sales tax.

To be sure, many of the top performing liquor stores are located along the state’s southern border with Massachusetts. For example, a state liquor outlet in Salem — located at the Rockingham Mall — netted nearly $33 million in gross sales in the previous fiscal year, according to the agency.

Gov. Chris Sununu said the record booze sales have provided more funds “for critical state programs, like substance misuse prevention and treatment, education, health and social services, transportation and natural resource protection and conservation.”

“This past year has been particularly challenging for all of us, but NHLC has maintained a tireless focus that continues to benefit us all,” Sununu wrote in a letter attached to the report. “NHLC is the second largest non-tax revenue source for our state and its contributions to New Hampshire have had a longstanding positive impact.”

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