The town’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has planned for years to build a second ABC store in Waynesville, but it took a while to find the right location at the right price. Eventually, the board acquired a plot right next to Super Walmart.
The town’s current Walnut Street liquor store will close when the new one opens. For a while, the board planned to keep its current store on Walnut Street open for at least a year to see if the town could sustain two locations.
But the lease for the Walnut Street store ends Oct. 1 this year, and the board was unable to negotiate a single-year lease. Instead, they will vacate the leased property and take up residence in the new store sometime in September. The ABC board pays $2,550 a month for the Walnut location.
“We couldn’t negotiate the lease so that was a factor,” said Joy Rasmus, who manages the ABC store. Plus, “With having debt for the new store, we wanted to get that paid off as soon as possible.”
The board took out a $1.3 million loan to build the new ABC store and will pay it off during a 10-year period.
Rasmus projected nearly $3 million in alcohol sales next fiscal year, a 7 percent increase compared to this year, and attributed it solely to the change in locale. The South Main Street location is prime for attracting shoppers as they head to Walmart, Belk, Michaels or any of the other stores in the plaza. If the ABC store wasn’t moving, Rasmus said, projected revenues would have remained flat.
A 7 percent increase is still on the conservative side when it comes to projecting next year’s revenues. Sales could jump 10 percent or more, according to the board.
“I wanted to be conservative,” Rasmus said. “Things are still a little on the slow side.”