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PITTSBURGH Earnings increase with Sunday sales



Published: Fri, February 28, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The LCB is allowing Sunday sales of liquor for the first time in 82 years.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The state's experiment with Sunday liquor sales has had some early success, with revenues increasing in each of the first three weeks of the program, officials said.

The state Liquor Control Board authorized 61 stores across Pennsylvania to sell alcohol on Sundays for the first time in 82 years, and sales have picked up every weekend despite some harsh winter weather, officials said.

"We're doing quite well," Richard Dervin, a sales associate at the Wine & amp; Spirits store on Pittsburgh's South Side, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for a story on Monday. "We're averaging 40 to 50 people an hour. And the taverns are calling [to place orders]."

The LCB said sales have risen from nearly $330,000 on Feb. 9 to $361,625 on the most recent Sunday.

Busiest store

The busiest store has been the state's superstore in Allentown, which had sales of $17,460 on Sunday. On Feb. 16, the store had more than $28,000 in sales, a spokeswoman for the LCB said.

At the state store in Monroeville, 37-year-old Brian Cassidy picked up a bottle of wine and a bottle of vodka on Sunday.

"This is the first time I've come out," Cassidy said. "It saves a lot of money not going to a bar or restaurant. And it's convenient."

The LCB added the new hours at the stores as part of a two-year experiment to see how Sunday sales are received. Officials said it is too early to make a definitive statement about the success of the program.

"It will take a few months to analyze what people are buying. We know that wines are selling more than spirits," said Molly McGowan, a board spokeswoman.

Dervin, the Pittsburgh state store worker, said the state needs the revenue that Sunday sales provide and that he expects all the stores in Pennsylvania will eventually be open seven days.

Meanwhile, protests by people who argue the stores should be closed on Sunday have dropped off.




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