In 2016, the total industry number of Liquor Stores could slightly decrease by 1.5% to 452 permits
We expect 16 new liquor permits to be granted this year (after Saline and Columbia counties going wet). In contrast, we expect more liquor permits to be cancelled, in the same momentum of last year around 10 permits. As indicated in our market forecast last year, we expect the market concentration process to start this year as the number of cancelled permits + active to inactive permits could surpass the number of new permits + inactive to active. This should see the industry start contracting in 2016 with full effect starting 2017. The change of ABC management could change this market direction
The number of liquor stores with a sampling permit has increased by almost 40% in the last two years and is expected to continue increasing strongly over the next two years. Our research team expects the number of liquor stores with sampling permits to represent over 25% of the total liquor store industry by end of 2016 versus less than 15% in 2012. Sampling, if used well, is one of the best sales drivers to push new products or drive a product campaign and can represent, for some liquor stores, up to a 20% jump in annual sales.