Stateways March April 2018

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 55

StateWays | | March/April 2018 12 the legislature went away that would be one less thing I have to deal with," he says. "We are actively promoting and devel- oping best practices and doing consultations for our members. We are always talking about markups and profi ts and inventory issues—things that the private sector should be talking about, but a lot keep it close to the vest. What we do is an open book. We actually have some private retailers who attend our events and call us for information about how to improve their operations." That's what makes MMBA different. "We have had big box re- tailers, such as Total Wine, come to town and we have developed strategies and techniques available to all retailers that helps them to succeed against these entities," Kaspszak adds. "It is information that we are sharing with everyone around the country." FUTURE TRENDS Kaspszak and his directors stress that sales have increased during the past decade, with the upward trend continuing throughout the state. To keep up with private enterprises, more "munis" are fi nding it necessary to remodel their establishments, expand their facilities, and even rename their businesses so they are less fo- cused on the city name. "The new generation and the way they want to buy and shop, will be something we need to address in the future," Arnold says. "We are dealing with a controlled substance and we control the sale of alcohol in our community. We strive to check IDs and keep the alcohol out of the hands of the kids. The change in the manner of shopping puts some of it at risk. At some point we need to remember that this is a mood-altering substance that needs to be controlled, and we need to handle it that way." "As a trade association we are faced with new competition—you can either freak out or fi gure out how we are going to beat them," Kaspszak says. "We want to tell people that we are providing a value and service to our community but we are really good busi- ness people. We talk about things that others simply don't." agency agency profile MINNESOTA PROFILE For a long time, municipal liquor operations were looked at as places with high prices and poor service. But now things are changing. "Over the past 15 years we have been trying to shift the bal- ance back to let people know we are a municipal liquor opera- tion and we are contributing to the community," Kaspszak says. "And so we've taken the word 'municipal' out of what the city is naming their establishment. We found that, when we were look- ing at the private sector, people were missing that private sector part. We continue to stress that we are a community asset and that we contribute back to the community—all while competing with privatization." • MAURA KELLER is a Minneapolis-based writer and ed- itor. She writes for dozens of publications on a variety of business-related topics. When not writing, Maura serves as executive director of the literacy nonprofi t, Read Indeed. IN TODAY'S MARKET, MUNICIPAL LIQUOR IS ABOUT MAINTAINING A BALANCE OF CONTROL AND MAKING MONEY FOR THE COMMUNITY.. - Paul Kaspszak, Executive Director of MMBA " " The MMBA has developed strategies for how independent retailers can compete against big box operations and national chains like Total Wine, which it makes available to other small retailers.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Stateways - Stateways March April 2018