NAUGATUCK — Sunday; the day when all the liquor stores are closed, the curtains are pulled down over the grocery stores’ beer supplies and many residents head for other states to spend money.
“Our current laws have cost Connecticut businesses millions of dollars as consumers have flocked over our borders in search of more convenient hours and lower prices,” Gov. Dannel Malloy wrote in a press release.
That is why Gov. Malloy signed a bill on Monday that would overturn the current state law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sunday. The law goes into effect immediately.
Not everybody is pleased with this, however. Many package store owners argue the cost of opening on Sundays will outweigh the profits made those days.
“Opening on Sundays means 52 more days a year, since there are 52 weeks. That means two more months of electric bills,” Bhavesh Patel of Locascio Liquors in Prospect said.
Patel explained being open on Sundays would cost him an extra $5,000 to $8,000.
“To cover that cost, you need to do a lot more business,” Patel said. “If you have the same sale and more cost, you lose revenue.”
Jack Paul of D&D Crosspointe Wine and Liquors in Naugatuck feels that opening another day will not bring any extra revenue for the store.
Paul said that customers already buy the alcohol they want for the weekend on Saturday.
“It’s not good for business. It’s not going to be good for the store,” Paul said.
Davinder Matharu of Beacon Beer & Beverage in Beacon Falls said the final outcome of this law is unknown. However, he does not see it as a large boon for liquor stores.
“Because there is no major population demographics increase, I don’t think there is going to be any change in business,” Matharu said.
Jeremy Nocerino of Salem Wine and Spirits in Naugatuck had a slightly more positive outlook to the possibility of being open on Sundays.
“This could be a good thing in the summer months with the picnics and graduations,” Nocerino said.
Nocerino felt if new customers come in on Sundays, it could help mitigate the overhead costs of operating the store.
“The coolers are running seven days a week anyway. This could possibly help offset that cost,” Nocerino said.
Nocerino believes that he will most likely be open on the holidays, since the new law would allow that, as long as it is cost effective.
“I’m not going to pay people to sit here if it is not lucrative,” Nocerino said.
Other store owners do not feel as if they have a choice whether they get to hire a new employee.
Paul explained that Crosspointe Wine and Liquors is a family owned business, so opening on Sunday means that the family will either have to work another day or hire a new employee.
“We only have one day off — Sunday,” Paul said.
Patel is also worried there will be an extra cost to his business because he will have to find someone who is able to work on Sundays.
Patel pointed out that this law would make it more convenient for the customers who forgot to buy alcohol on Saturday for a party on Sunday. However, he doesn’t believe that people forgetting to buy on Saturday is going to make up for the cost of being open on Sunday.
Nocerino believes one of two things will happen. Either people who buy on Saturday will split their shopping days over to Sunday, or people who are not able to do their shopping on any other day than Sunday will be able to shop.
“It’s kind of uncharted territory,” he said.