According to an anonymous e-mail that I received last week, Apple Valley’s newest liquor store is not performing as well as one would expect after the city paid nearly $5 million dollars to compete with Lakeville’s recently built store less than two miles away. This news comes on the heels of the recent theft of a 600lb safe and the revelation that Apple Valley’s City Council was directed to approve $25,300 in beer signs for the store.
I was told that the $5 million Apple Valley Liquor Store #3 was not performing well and was actually being outperformed by Apple Valley Liquor Store #2 and that a lot of staff had been hired for #3′s opening being that it was expected that operations would be going great guns. Unfortunately, following the holidays and less people streaming from the unnecessary SuperTarget across the parking lot, business in the Apple Valley Eco-Beer Cave has gone down hill forcing liquor store staff to be sent home early. I haven’t verified the staffing information so it should be taken cum grano salis but my interest was piqued and I went about seeing what information I could dig up on Apple Valley’s newest liquor store’s sales figures. I contacted Apple Valley and was first given this PDF (thanks for the electronic format option!) which provides an overview of the entire liquor store system but that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. After asking again for a breakdown by store, I was provided with this document which gives a much better idea of how each store stands on their own.
While only estimates for 2008 were provided in the documents that I was given, I was told that Apple Valley Liquor Store #2 had $500,000 in sales for the first time ever and that #3 wasn’t even close to performing on target and supposedly slipped to third behind both Liquor Store #1 and #2. With the low sales numbers following the holidays, I was told that stock was being moved from #3 to the two other stores because they were doing so much better than the huge waste of money that was built out in no man’s land. According to the documentation provided to the Apple Valley City Council as part of their push for the 2009 budget (which raised taxes higher than any other South Metro city) it would appear that there is the distinct possibility that the liquor store staff had made some very incorrect assumptions because the data provided shows declines in the amount of revenue at #2 which they felt would be replaced with #3′s high sales due to glitz and glamor.
Who wants to start a pool of how much money the city will lose when they are forced to sell the property and building when the store continues to perform below expectations? I’d really love to see Swanson and Hammand-Rolland eat their words being that property values are shot, no one is buying retail space (being that it’s empty all over town) especially when it would cost about $5 million, and if a store can’t sell booze successfully in a particular location what would make anyone think that they could survive selling anything else?
So, what do you think about our new store’s failure to outperform either old store, especially the really shitty performance of Apple Valley Liquor Store #2? Was it worth taking money away from the rest of the operation only to shuffle shit around later when it failed? Whatever you feel about the rumor that Apple Valley Liquor Store #3 is failing, comment on, I’d love to hear what you have to say.