Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why is my liquor store now closed on Sunday?

If you live in Oregon, you may have noticed that your local liquor store isn’t staying open quite as late, or perhaps it is now closed on Sundays.

Each Oregon liquor store is essentially its own small business, operated by an independent contractor – also known as a liquor agent. Liquor agents have the authority to determine their store’s hours and days of operation, with some basic guidelines set by the OLCC to ensure adequate service to the public.

Although hours of operation may vary from store to store, liquor stores must be open at least eight hours a day, Monday through Saturday. This must include the hours between noon and 6:00 p.m. And they can’t open before 7:00 a.m. or close any later than 10:00 p.m.

Liquor stores can be open on Sundays and holidays. But, it is up to the liquor agent if they want to be open on those days.

So why has your neighborhood liquor store changed its hours?
The state’s economic woes are partially at fault. To fix an $855M state budget shortfall, the Oregon legislature voted to make cuts to many state agencies’ budgets, including the OLCC. This included the compensation paid to liquor agents. From that commission, the agent pays for things such as rent and utilities, and employee salaries. Since this agents’ compensation is being used to help reduce the state’s budget problems, liquor store agents have had to make some tough decisions, such as reducing store hours.

If you want to find out the hours and days your neighborhood store is open, check the OLCC’s website: http://www.olcc.state.or.us/pdfs/liquor_store_list.pdf.