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Stores getting ready for Sunday sales
It's official -- election results certified
Liquor WEB 1
Scott Remington, manager, stocks the shelves at Georgia Liquor Barn on Thursday. The store and other retailers will begin selling alcohol Sunday. - photo by Jim Dean

 

The March 6 election results have been certified. So beginning this Sunday, stores in Cumming and Forsyth County will be able to sell alcohol.

Package stores still have the option of whether to open. But to stay competitive, most appear ready to do so.

At Georgia Liquor Barn, manager Scott Remington said the first three months will dictate if the Atlanta Highway store will continue to open Sundays.

“We’ll have to look at overall the costs versus having payroll here,” he said. “Based on what I’ve heard from the other liquor stores who opened when the other counties passed it, it’s been a wash for them.

“It has taken away from Saturday sales and Monday sales, so very few stores have seen an overall increase.”

In November, voters in other nearby jurisdictions such as Dawsonville, Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Oakwood approved Sunday package sales of alcohol, which the state had previously not allowed.

Neighboring Dawson and Hall counties also approved the measure March 6.

The referendum was possible after Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill last spring that allowed communities to put the issue before voters.

Nearly 69 percent of Forsyth County’s registered voters, or about 21,500, approved Sunday sales, while about 61 percent of Cumming voters, or about 363, backed the referendum.

Regardless of where they stood, the issue was an important one for voters, with nearly 99.6 percent of the 31,505 who cast ballots weighing in on the issue.

Barbara Luth, Forsyth County’s elections supervisor, said people seemed as excited to vote on alcohol sales as their presidential candidate.

“It was important to them,” she said. “A lot of them had looked for it when we did the sales tax in November and they were surprised it wasn’t on there.

“We got a lot of comments that it was important.”

Remington said he’s keeping a positive attitude. He’ll be open from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday and “we hope that it increases our sales.”

Mostly, he’s pleased to offer more convenience to customers.

“The customers are very excited about it,” he said. “They’re very ‘freedom of choice’ and they do enjoy the ability to not have to plan ahead on Saturday.”