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Grifton ABC location closing in March

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The ABC store in Grifton is closing in March, the result of declining sales and a rent increase, the Pitt County’s ABC Board administrator said.


By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The ABC store in Grifton is closing in March, the result of declining sales and a rent increase, the Pitt County’s ABC Board administrator said.

With the Grifton site’s closure, the Pitt County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will have eight remaining locations: seven retail sites and a location that services restaurants, bars and nightclubs, said Teresa L. Campbell, county ABC administrator.

Sales at the Grifton site dropped nearly $42,000, from a high of $294,397 in fiscal year 2014-15 to $252,554 in fiscal year 2017-18, which ended June 30, according to data provided by Campbell.

The site lost $3,743 in fiscal year 2014-15, $12,729 in fiscal year 2015-16, $8,466 in fiscal year 2016-17 and $10,295 in fiscal year 2017-18, Campbell said.

“Since we’ve had so many hurricanes and the flooding over there, people started going to the Ayden location and didn’t go back to Grifton,” Campbell said.

During 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, the location was closed for nearly 50 hours between Oct. 8-15. During last year’s Hurricane Florence, the store was closed 37.5 hours between Sept. 13-20. The store never flooded, Campbell said, but nearby streets did and the town was without electricity for numerous days following the hurricanes.

The building’s owners, Grifton Rescue & EMS, raised the rent from $350 to $500, Campbell said. The organization has been a “great, great landlord” she said, but it is one more increase is expenses that is not covered by sales.

The site officially will close on March 16. The one associate working in Grifton will be transferred to another location, Campbell said.

Campbell said the Ayden store, 246 W. Third St., will need some improvements to its parking lot to accommodate the increased traffic.

“Hopefully that can be a quick fix,” she said, because there are other projects the ABC board is exploring.

“Our 10th Street location is just overwhelmed,” Campbell said. “It’s one of our highest-grossing stores sales wise.

“Another thing the board is focusing on is Bethel,” she said. “We are losing money there as well, but we want somewhere to go before we close it. We are looking for property now to build another store on the north side.”

The board is looking at site in the area between Belvoir Highway and the U.S. 13/N.C. 11 interchange at the Martin Luther King Jr., Bypass, she said.

As for the 10th Street location, the board is looking at areas east of existing location, 3196 E. 10th St.

The property search is in the beginning stages, Campbell said. Then the board has to determine when construction will take place and what type of facility is needed. She anticipates it will take place within the next five years.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.