New ABC stores planned; Bethel location to close
By Tyler Stocks
Monday, June 17, 2019
The board that controls alcohol sales in Pitt County is closing its liquor stores in Bethel and on 10th Street in Greenville and will open stores in new locations, the local administrator said.
The Pitt County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board plans to build a 6,000-square-foot store at 260 Easy St. near Memorial Drive in north Greenville, Teresa Campbell said. The store on 10th Street near Greenville Boulevard will be relocated to the Food Lion shopping center at 10th and Portertown Road.
The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission approved Pitt County's plans during its regular monthly meeting on June 12. The current Bethel ABC store, 7449 N. Main St., will be closed due to profitability issues and declining sales.
"We're not doing enough business there," Campbell said. "It's been in the red forever."
The Easy Street store will serve as a replacement to the Bethel store, she said.
"We want to serve customers on that side of the county, so we thought maybe if we bring it in a little closer where more people were shopping that it would be more beneficial to the community as well," Campbell said.
A timetable for when the Bethel store will close and when construction of the Easy Street store begins has not been determined, Campbell said.
"We just had to get the approval from the commission to build (the Easy Street store). We're still in the process of still talking about how much it's going to cost and all that. Once we get that one up and running we will close the Bethel store," Campbell said.
Campbell said the timetable for moving of the 10th Street store also has not been established. Plans for both actions will be discussed during the Pitt County ABC Board's next meeting, she said. The board meets at 11:30 at the Pitt County ABC Board Office at 2082-B Central Park Drive, Winterville.
The meeting is open to the public.
Pitt County's ABC operation is performing well in overall sales, Campbell said, totaling $20 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30. Campbell said Pitt County Government received $1.4 million from the board.
Historically, Campbell said that the ABC stores in Pitt County have had sales increases of $100,000 each year.
According to the Pitt County ABC website, the agency grossed more than $18.9 million in retail sales through eight outlets in 2017, Pitt County. Pitt County opened its first store on July 27, 1935.
Pitt County's ABC system is among 168 in the state that operate 430 retail stores that are the only outlets for hard liquor sales statewide. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, the retail and mixed beverage sales statewide totaled approximately $1.068 billion.
County and municipal ABC Boards in North Carolina are local independent political subdivisions of the state. They operate as separate entities establishing their own policies and procedures, according to the state ABC Commission.
Each local ABC Board consists of a chairman and two to six board members appointed by their city, town or county governing authority. Pitt County's board has five members. They retain authority to set policy and adopt rules in conformity with state ABC laws and commission rules.
Local ABC boards in North Carolina are established and operated with no state funds. However, through the sale of spirituous liquor in ABC stores, approximately $1 billion in revenue is generated annually. Distributions benefit the state’s General Fund and the cities and counties where alcohol sales are allowed. Total revenue distributions during fiscal year 2017 amounted to more than $406 million.
Pitt County currently has eight ABC store locations, one of which is a supply store for restaurants and bars.
Store No. 1 (Mixed Beverage Outlet): 2307 S. Memorial Drive, Greenville
Store No. 2: 3765 W. Wilson St., Farmville
Store No. 3: 246 W. Third St., Ayden
Store No. 4: 3196 East 10th St.
Store No. 5: 7449 N. Main St., Bethel
Store No. 6: 2082 Central Park Drive, Winterville
Store No. 8: 2305 S. Memorial Drive, Greenville
Store No. 11: 2000 E. Arlington Blvd, Greenville