Grand Strand liquor store sees spike in business after sales plummeted 90% during stay-at-home order

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Although liquor stores were considered essential during the stay-at-home order, some liquor stores in Myrtle Beach tell News13 they saw a dramatic decrease in sales because there were not many tourists, if any.

Now that the area is reopening, one local liquor store is looking to keep up with the increasing demand.

During the stay-at-home order the Myrtle Beach Liquor store manager says they saw a 90% decrease in sales.

Now with everything beginning to reopen, the manager says they weren’t prepared for how fast the shelves began to empty.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of them, it’s like a spur of the moment thing. Especially if they live in North Carolina or Georgia or something like that. They just got up one morning and said let’s go to the beach,” said manager Tim Morton.

Whether it was customers coming to Myrtle Beach for the week or just for the day, Morton says this past weekend felt like the middle of the summer he had so much business.

“I contribute that to, you know, people being, staying, you know, locked up at home, and then just coming out all of a sudden,” he said.

They had a 5% increase of what they’d normally sell this time last year, and it caught them off guard.

But, before the area started to reopen, business wasn’t doing well. “The past 11 or 12 twelve weeks have just been brutal,” said Morton. “I mean, the sales, it went down astronomically. It was unbelievable.”

The stay-at-home order due to the pandemic took them from making $15,000 to $18,000 a day, to around $380 to $400 a day in sales.

“People that live away from the beach, like in Conway, they have their set people that come and all that. Here, we rely on tourists coming down to the beach, and that wasn’t happening,” said Morton.

Just like other Myrtle Beach businesses, they made some changes during the stay-at-home order, including sanitizing more often.

Morton says customers were required to come in the store to get liquor, but they had to remain behind a barrier at the front of the store.

“Initially when they thought it was going to blow up, and we were deemed an essential business, I stayed here. We have the barriers, we have the signs, we spray everyday, 10, 20 times a day. We spray everything that’s touched frequently, you know, the computers, the phones, the handles,” said Morton.

Now, Morton is looking ahead to the future. “If this weekend was any indication of what it’s going to be like the rest of the summer, it’s going to be great,” he said.

Morton says the spike in sales may continue or level out back to normal now that things are reopening.

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