Troutman ABC store eclipses $1 million in sales
BY DEBBIE PAGE
ABC Board Chairman Layton Getsinger updated the Troutman Town Council last week on the ABC Store’s progress, reporting that the store is far exceeding projections as it approaches its first full year of operation.
The store hit $1 million in sales on the evening of September 23, in less than 10 months of operation. The initial business plan for the store had projected sales of only $770,000, so this milestone is indicative of its lean, successful operation.
Getsinger and the ABC Board, comprised of members Jeff Hall and Wes Edmiston, predict sales of $1.2 million for the first year, ending November 30. Sales currently average $102,400 per month.
The board also expects this December, traditionally the largest sales month, to top last December’s sales of $143,746.15. The store will increase its inventory to the $175,000 level in November and December to avoid shortages of popular brands before throttling back ordering for the slower months of January and February.
The store also ordered $13,000 of special Christmas packages that contain gifts such as special glasses or decanters along with the spirits, which are expected to start arriving next week.
Getsinger hopes to hit the $200,000 mark in December sales, with other two board members predicting an even stronger showing of $250,000.
September sales were $104,080, bringing total first quarter sales for the fiscal year to $316,716. The store currently has three months worth of inventory in the store.
The store currently has $132,923 in working capital (cash and inventory), which they will build until it reaches $313,620, the maximum percentage of store sales allowed under ABC Commission statutes. This amount is equal to four months of revenue.
After reaching its working capital goal, the store will be in a position to start making distributions of profits to Troutman schools, ESC Park and J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library, as designated by the Town Council last year.
Getsinger expects these profit distributions to begin much sooner than originally thought. The board hopes to be in a position to start making its 5 percent law enforcement and 7 percent alcohol education contributions in the next few months.
In its three-year financial plan, the store was projected to lose $35,000 in the first few years, but Getsinger was happy to report it is already in a positive cash flow. The store has so far netted $6,900 as the first quarter of the 2017-18 fiscal year ends.
Getsinger also emphasized the importance of bringing in restaurants that offer mixed drink sales to further increase the store’s bottom line. Currently, only one restaurant in Troutman offers mixed drinks.
He noted that Mooresville stores bring in almost as much revenue from sales to restaurants as they do in retail sales to community members.
“As we grow as a community, additional restaurants with mixed drink licenses will positively impact the town through an increase in distributions to Parks and Recreation, the library, and schools,” added Getsinger.
The ABC Board also received a clean audit in September, a copy of which was sent to Town Finance Director Steve Shealy.
ABC BOARD MEETING
At its Wednesday afternoon ABC Board meeting, Getsinger announced the resignation of board member Steve Cash in August, citing personal and family obligations. Board member Bill Stamey resigned earlier in June for health reasons.
Both board members terms expired in December. These positions will not be refilled since the Town Council planned to reduce the board to three members in December now that the store is open and operating smoothly.
The store is already beginning to pay back its construction loan earlier than anticipated. Two payments of $3,631.36 have been made, knocking $3,500 off the loan’s principal.
Celebrating the store’s $1 million in sales, Getsinger said, “This a major milestone that we hit in less than 10 months of operation. I want to tip my hat to Steve and Bill in this, too. The December 1 opening was so crucial. It was the thing we needed to give that edge and keep from dipping into the line of credit in the lean months.”
Getsinger said aeration and reseeding of the store’s grounds was complete. The board then unanimously approved the purchase additional plants, shrubbery, and mulch to continue to improve the store’s appearance.
Getsinger also thanked Hall and his wife Stacy for fall decorations they had placed in the store, which had drawn positive customer response.
The recent visit from the N.C. Association of ABC Board Leaders also yielded a favorable evaluation, according to Getsinger.