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Nashua;27.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/few.png;2014-11-28 08:23:02
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

State liquor sales hit new record ($626 million); two Nashua stores in Top 10 list

Nashua’s four state liquor stores sold more than three times as much alcohol as the four stores in Manchester over the past year, continuing a long trend in which the most successful Liquor and Wine Outlets are located close to the Massachusetts border.

Preliminary results from fiscal year 2014, which ran through June 30, indicate that liquor and wine sales at the 77 state-owned stores hit a record $626 million last year, an increase of almost 4 percent. Profits, sent to the state budget, were up almost 9 percent, to $148 million. ...

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Nashua’s four state liquor stores sold more than three times as much alcohol as the four stores in Manchester over the past year, continuing a long trend in which the most successful Liquor and Wine Outlets are located close to the Massachusetts border.

Preliminary results from fiscal year 2014, which ran through June 30, indicate that liquor and wine sales at the 77 state-owned stores hit a record $626 million last year, an increase of almost 4 percent. Profits, sent to the state budget, were up almost 9 percent, to $148 million.

In Nashua, the store at 25 Coliseum Ave., behind the Nashua Mall, had the fifth-highest tally for gross sales last year, at $19.2 million, while the store in the Southgate Mall, located at 269 Daniel Webster Highway, near Pheasant Lane Mall, had the seventh-highest tally at $18.2 million.

Sales at both those stores were roughly flat from a year before, changing less than 1 percent each, while the sales at 40 Northwest Blvd. stores sagged about 8 percent to $9.7 million, and sales at the Market Place Plaza store downtown rose sharply, up more than 30 percent to $4.26 million.

Overall, Nashua’s four stores had $54 million in sales over the past 12 months: By contrast, the four stores in Manchester had $17 million in sales.

That last figure includes the outlet in the Manchester airport, which logged $415,000 in sales, last among the 77 state liquor stores.

As has long been the case, the busiest stores were on Interstate 95 in Hampton along the Seacoast, which is the busiest stretch of road in the state. The two stores, one each on the northbound and southbound sides of the highway, sold $66 million between them.

The eight best-selling liquor stores are all located next to interstate highways often used by Massachusetts commuters. That includes the South Broadway store in Salem just off Interstate 93, just a few hundred yards from the state border.

The state estimates that about half of all liquor sales are made to non-residents of New Hampshire.

About 55 percent of sales were of spirits, and the rest of wine.

New Hampshire has been upgrading and moving stores in recent years, seeking to increase sales. Since 2012, NHLC has renovated or relocated 15 Liquor & Wine Outlets, including those in Bedford, Merrimack, Milford and Nashua.

Nashua has four New Hampshire Liquor Outlets, while there is one each in Hudson, Merrimack, Milford and Brookline.

New Hampshire Liquor Commission Chairman Joseph Mollica attributed the increase to a number of factors, including sales programs and an online app to purchase wine via mobile devices.

“We have implemented iPads in a number of stores that provide customers with access to drink recipes and pairing information,” Mollica said in a statement.

The first New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet opened in 1934.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or contact him by email at dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter
(@GraniteGeek).