It’s Saturday night, and it’s busy at the Oxbridge Square ABC store on Hull Street Road. Alone and in groups, shoppers are picking up libations for the evening.
By Amelia Heymann and Jessica Samuels for Capital News Service
For some customers, this is a once-in-a-blue-moon trip; for others, it’s a regular occurrence. Nadia Goldman says she goes about once a month, while Nicole Booth says she goes every weekend for herself and others.
“My purpose is to party and to get ripped,” Booth said.
Thanks to customers like her, Virginia’s state-owned liquor stores rang up record profits in 2016, according to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Last year, the 359 ABC stores across the commonwealth had gross sales of about $895 million – $106 for every resident of Virginia. The stores sold 11.4 million gallons of alcoholic beverages, or 1.4 gallons per capita.
For Virginia officials, what counts most is how much money the stores produce in net profit and state taxes. In 2016, the total was $315 million. That represents a profit margin of more than 35 percent of gross sales.