RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced on Wednesday its gross revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $1.2 billion — an increase of $117 million since last year.
It’s the second year in a row the liquor agency surpassed $1 billion in gross revenue, which was bolstered by retail sales with the switch to online ordering, curbside pickup and shipping amid the pandemic, the authority announced Wednesday.
But the figures revealed the pandemic’s negative effects on licensed establishments such as restaurants and bars. The authority loosened restrictions to allow for delivery and takeout of alcoholic beverages and expanded patio access, but still sales dropped by 19% as retail sales increased by 18%, news outlets reported, citing the data.
“The pandemic has greatly affected our licensed establishments and Virginia’s distilled spirits industry,” CEO Travis Hill said in a statement. “We will continue to work with them to understand their challenges and adjust our processes to ease some of their pandemic-related pressures whenever possible.”
Before the pandemic, overall sales were up 7%, the agency’s numbers showed.
Of the earnings, $545.3 million went back into state programs and services as required by Virginia code, news outlets said.
According to FY 2020 sales, the top five brands purchased in Virginia ABC stores were:
- Tito’s Handmade – domestic vodka
- Hennessy VS – cognac/Armagnac
- Jack Daniel’s 7 Black – Tennessee whiskey
- Jim Beam – straight bourbon
- Patron Silver – tequila
- What COVID-era travel changes are likely here to stay?
- Advocacy group hosts Mother’s Day brunch for Virginia moms fighting to overturn sons’ conviction
- Firefighters to go door to door following fatal fire
- Virginia Republican delegates cast their vote for state’s top candidates
- TSA screens 1.7 million travelers in a single day, highest number since beginning of coronavirus pandemic