Utah liquor stores set sales record amid pre-Christmas rush

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS – State Liquor and Wine Stores are breaking records this holiday season.

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control set a record for single-day sales on Friday, December 22. The state reported sales topped $3.78 million, surpassing the record set last year by more than $50,000.

Terry Wood, the Director of Communications for the DABC, believes Utah’s growing population is one reason for the increase.

“It came out just this last week that Utah is one of the three fastest growing states in the country, so the population is growing dramatically here in Utah," Wood said.

To deal with the surge of customers, state liquor stores increased staffing.

“We've had a plan in place a couple of months now because we had such a big crowd last year,” Wood said. “We've given some of our employees in the store extra hours. We're trying to have every cash register going while we are open, and a bagger there too."

Shona Parker manages the Cottonwood Heights store. She’s tasked with making sure the shelves are stocked and customers can find the products they want.

“We got seven palettes delivered at 6:30 for replenishment for stuff like Crown and Bailey’s and a lot of stuff that we were out of," Parker said of keeping up with the demand.

The items customers want the most are those sold at a discount.

“Anything on sale,” Parker answered when asked which items are the highest sellers. “Or anything that's left when the sale stuff has not been replenished."

With stores closed on Christmas Eve, the DABC thinks Saturday, December 23, could break the sales record set on Friday as last-minute shoppers race to the shelves to get the beverages needed for their holiday celebrations.

“People wait to the last-minute no matter what the product is,” Wood said. “All week we've been encouraging people to get to the store, or the state liquor store, early this week because we did expect today to be monstrous."

Updated sales numbers for December 23 are scheduled to be released on Christmas Eve.