Vodka top seller at Mercer Island liquor store

With initiatives to privatize liquor sales on the November ballot, there’s a lot of talk of what would happen if state-run liquor stores ceased to exist, and the Mercer Island store’s future is in question.

As it now stands, shoppers spend more than $2 million per year at the Mercer Island liquor store in the Town Center. The local favorites are vodka, gin and whiskey, according to data from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

A rough calculation indicates that Island adult per capita spending at the liquor store is about $140 per year.

Gross sales have increased by 5 percent in five years at the Mercer Island liquor store, going from $2,164,369.76 in the 2006 fiscal year to $2,271,259.94 in the 2010 fiscal year, which ended in June.

In terms of money brought in, the Island store ranks 52 out of 68 total liquor stores in King county, with the top earner, located at 7th Avenue and Bell Street in Seattle, grossing over $22 million in fiscal year 2010, according to data provided by Anne Radford of the Liquor Control Board.

Since the beginning of 2009, Skyy Vodka has been the top seller on Mercer Island followed by Smirnoff Vodka and other vodka labels, Macnaughtons Canadian Whisky, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky and various kinds of gin.

Radford said the store has been at the same location on Mercer Island for 20 years, but the lease on the space is up in December. So far, the liquor control board has not made a decision about what to do at that point, she said.

By this fall, two businesses adjacent to the Island store will have moved, leaving the state store and the True Value Hardware store alone on the lower level of the shopping complex on 76th Avenue S.E.

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