I was recently asked by someone that was considering buying a liquor store that is for sale if location really matters.
It made me think, does it? Some experts believe that while it is still important, location, is not AS important in the liquor store business as it is with other retail businesses.
I think there is a case for both sides of the argument, but I feel as though location really does matter when you are considering a liquor store that is for sale and here’s why.
It's a fact that location is important for any retail business when it comes to convenience. Customers are more likely to frequent businesses that are close to their homes or workplace. If your store is on the route to either location, they may choose you over driving across town to another store. So with the topic of convenience in mind, yes, I think location matters. I wouldn’t select a store that was in the middle of nowhere or in a place that was difficult to get to.
Inventory & Demographics
Inventory is obviously a key part of the liquor store business. Look at the demographic that surrounds the business. A liquor store that is located near a University will probably be selling less high end wine and more kegs of beer. The opposite will be true if you are located in an affluent suburb. Since liquor stores are thought to be neighborhood businesses, it’s important to think about what demographic you want to serve and what you want your inventory to look like. When it comes to the type of inventory you want to offer, location definitely matters.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a liquor store located near a University will probably draw a lot of traffic but it could also cause some issues for your business.
Locations That Can Cause Problems
As I just mentioned, buying a liquor store for sale in an area by a University could lead to a good, profitable business based on the sheer volume you’d be selling however, it could also cause problems for you as the owner. You have to deal with underage drinkers trying to purchase liquor from your store. As the owner, you can monitor this while you are working but once you leave your liquor store in an employee’s hands, you are leaving yourself open to a potential liability if they don’t adhere to proper procedures. Don't get me wrong, I know this could happen in the suburbs too but I think you would deal with this scenario more frequently in certain locations. In the state of California, if you are found to have furnished alcohol to a minor there is a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.
High crime areas could also be a problem. In addition to underage drinkers, there is the potential for left, robberies and other types of infractions against the business.
If you are planning to compete with other liquor retailers solely on price, than location definitely matters. Whether you are the discount liquor store or the high end liquor store, you need to make sure the liquor store you are considering fits the location. A discount liquor store that has a minimal wine selection but is located in an affluent suburb may find that customers will sacrifice convenience and drive across town to get the wine they want causing them to lose business. So again, location is important when it comes to pricing.
To sum it up, yes, in my opinion, location does matter when it comes to buying a liquor store for sale from either a broker or an owner. The inventory you carry and the headaches you have will be driven by the location of the liquor store in many cases. So, choose wisely and make sure the liquor store you are considering is located in a place that will allow you to run the type of business you want.
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder (of BizBen.com) & the Director Of the BizBen California Network (founded in 1994!) consisting of business buyers, owner/sellers, business brokers, agents, intermediaries, and advisors (there are over 90,000 users, and 8,000+ listings posted on BizBen.com). To join (FREE) the BizBen California Network, phone Peter Siegel direct at 866-270-6278 - get signed up for business for sale listings (Email Alerts) before they hit the market, view requests from serious business buyers - wanted notices, notices about upcoming FREE online webinars on the topic of buying and selling California small and mid-sized businesses and much more! Call 866-270-6278 to get info about liquor stores for sale in your area.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Abdul Jobah, Business Broker, Central Valley, Kern County
As A Real Estate Agent, I offer my clients assistance with the sale or purchase of commercial properties and/or businesses. Please contact me if you are looking to sell or buy a Central Valley business. If at any time you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me at 661-703-3916.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Ron Hottes, Broker - Serving LA, Orange, Inland Empire Area
LINK Business is a business brokerage team of 28 highly skilled and seasoned professionals. Our business brokers have over 100 years of cumulative experience & the expertise to help you buy or sell a business in the LA County, Orange, Inland Empire areas. Call Ron for a consultation at 310-539-8300.
|Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses
Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.
|Michael Floorman, Business Broker, BTI, San Francisco Bay Area
Business Team, San Jose (Campbell) located in the Pruneyard Towers at Bascom and Hamilton. Established in 1981 Business Team with over 6600 sales to date has 1000 business listings to choose from, paid Google advertising. We offer highly trained and experienced professionals.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 800-864-0420.
|Jack Oh, Business Broker - LA, Orange Counties
Business broker and real estate services in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. 10 years experience with great negotiating skills. To sell a business or buy a business in the LA or Orange County Areas phone Jack and his team at 562-787-4989.
|Mike Brewer: Liquor License Brokers, ABC Consulting Services
Liquor license brokerage and consulting services. We provide: Alcohol License Transfers Application Consulting & Processing, Liquor License Purchases & Sales, City Zoning Permits & Land Use Entitlements, Public Convenience or Necessity Findings and Letters. Phone Mike Brewer direct at 800-437-1100.
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