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Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services Reports Strong Holiday Season; Sets All Time One-Day Retail Sales Record

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 10, 2020

Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) closed the decade with a strong holiday season and set a one-day sales record of $1,551,361 on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 27, across the County’s 25 retail stores.

Christmas Eve was also a strong day for alcohol sales. ABS reported $1,451,855 in sales, besting Dec. 24, 2018 sales ($1,431,916).

ABS’ retail division reported $142,002,472 in overall retail sales in calendar year 2019, a significant increase over 2018 sales ($140,781,463) and the second highest in the last five years.

“I have great confidence in the plans that have been worked out with ABS both for improving customer service and increasing sales to benefit County taxpayers,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “These results are encouraging and show we are on the right track.”

Shortly after he was hired in 2017, ABS Director Bob Dorfman reorganized the department with a focus on improving operations, including customer service and sales.

“We are running this department and our retail stores as a business and the changes we have implemented along the way are making a big difference when it comes to the bottom line,” said ABS Director Dorfman. “We have a plan to make the County more money, to the benefit of our residents, and we are on track to meet our goals.”

With support from the county executive, ABS developed a financial plan to bring overall annual profits for the department up to $45 million.  Preliminary numbers show that for the current fiscal year, which runs July 1 through June 30, overall income was up four percent just before the winter holidays.

“We have come a long way, but there is still a lot of work to do be done,” said Kent Massie, chief of retail operations for ABS. “I credit competitive pricing initiatives, continually growing our marketing events and a thorough review of inventory as reasons for the increase.”

Next up for ABS is its special Whiskey Rocks event on Friday, Jan. 17, at the Clarksburg store. The event is the largest whiskey celebration in Montgomery County and includes limited product releases, tastings, raffles, demonstrations and more. Organizers are preparing for long lines as customers at previous events have waited in line overnight in hopes of being among the first in the retail store to purchase highly sought after and hard to find whiskey products. The Whiskey Rocks lunch is already sold out.

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County, and operates 25 retail stores. Generating more than $35 million annually, ABS profits are used to pay off County debt; and a large portion goes to the Montgomery County General Fund to pay for services that tax dollars would otherwise pay for, such as education, public safety and transportation improvements. 

For updates about Whiskey Rocks and other events, free tastings and seminars, join the ABS email list and follow ABS on Facebook and Twitter.

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Release ID: 20-010
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta, 240-777-1904 , Emily.DeTitta@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov