A large contingent of Minnesotans may support legalizing off-sale liquor sales on Sundays and holidays, but Edina Liquor officials are skeptical it would provide any real benefit to the state.
A bipartisan bill reintroduced to the Senate this week aims to repeal the state's long-standing ban on selling off-sale liquor on Sundays. If passed, it would allow liquor store owners the option of being open for business seven days a week in addition to Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve—after 8 p.m.—and Christmas Day.
"The group of people who want to see this happen claim it could increase tax revenue by $10 million," Grausam said. "We simply would not see a big increase in alcohol sales around the metro area. You'd basically see the same amount of sales we do in six days spread out to seven, but then you're also increasing payroll and costs for that extra day. It's not a win-win for most retailers."
The bill was reintroduced by Senators Roger Reinert (D-Duluth) and Jeremy Miller (R-Winona).
Last June, 59 percent of Minnesotans polled by Public Policy Polling said they are in favor of the proposal.
The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. If the Senate Commerce Committee Chair decides to hear the bill, it will continue to move along in the political process; if not, the bill is likely to die before making it to the floor for discussion.
Grausam said Sunday liquor sales would be a reality by now if so many businesses felt it would be a boon to sales. He noted a select number of larger retailers in the metro area heavily support the change, but said most municipal operations in the metro share his opposition to the legislation.
Allowing Sunday sales also wouldn't necessarily have a positive impact on Minnesotans from a social standpoint, according to Grausam.
"We're not talking about cookies and granola bars," he said. "This is a highly regulated commodity that they're trying to deregulate and make more accessible."
Grausam said he's already been in touch with local legislators this session, as it's "important to provide them with the tools and information necessary to make an informed decision."
And while customers might occasionally grumble about Edina's liquor stores being closed on Sundays—it's typically only younger customers doing the complaining—Grausam said convenience isn't necessarily the best thing for every situation.
"Is it convenient? No," Grausam said. "But should it be convenient? It's alcohol. It's not a staple of our everyday lives, and it really shouldn't be."