Bills allowing stores to sell liquor on Sundays have now passed both the Minnesota House and Senate, and it looks like for the first time in its history, Minnesota will no longer be dry on Sundays.
Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said he expects the House to adopt the Senate’s language, allowing for stores to sell liquor beginning at 11 a.m. rather than pushing for the 10 a.m. time the House passed.
For Lu Ann Schraut Deppa and Gary Deppa, owners of Royalton Discount Center, the impact of new laws on their business is nothing new.
Where once there was a section of tanning beds along the wall of their store, laws requiring tanners to be 18 years old led to it being filled with racks of wine, beer and liquor as they downsized the tanning portion of the store.
Still, the couple isn’t sure exactly how this will affect their business, other than one truth, Sundays will no longer be a day off.
“Now I’ll be working seven days a week again,” Lu Ann said.
Neither Deppa believes it would be possible to keep the store closed on Sunday, lest their customers choose to drive to a big box store that will be open.
“We’ll have to be open, otherwise they’ll (the customers) will just go someplace else,” Lu Ann said.
She said being open on Sundays may lead to more people coming in, or it might just spread the number of people coming in over seven days instead of six.
Lu Ann said she doesn’t think the store will decrease the hours it is open on other days, since they are busy at those times.
As to whether or not customers have been excited, Lu Ann said many haven’t talked about it, and it is more the vendors who have been excited.
Still, Lu Ann said she doesn’t think it’ll mean increased sales in this area of the state.
“I think it’s more for the border people. I think they’ll find Wisconsin isn’t going to sell as much and Minnesota will sell more,” Lu Ann said.
Gary said that he didn’t think it was possible right now to know whether or not the new law will help or hurt the business.
Still it’s not just general stores that will have to figure out how to deal with Sunday Liquor.
Cities like Flensburg and Randall have municipal liquor stores.
Randall City Manager Matt Pantzke said the Council and city staff will have to wait and see all the information before making any decision on possible changes to the store’s hours.
“We’re going to analyze the business trends and act accordingly,” Pantzke said.
He said the city is going to want to ensure they keep the customer base it has and to increase it if possible.
Before the Sunday liquor sales bill passes, the House or the Senate need to agree to go with the other’s plan and it must be signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.