As of Sept. 23, it is legal to buy package alcohol on a Sunday anywhere in Columbia County.
The city of Harlem officially approved Sunday sales at its Sept. 17 meeting, after both the city of Grovetown and unincorporated areas of Columbia County, including Evans and Martinez. Sunday sales in Grovetown became legal in late 2012 and Columbia County Sunday sales became legal the first weekend of September.
For local retailers, the ability to sell spirits on Sunday has proved to be neither boon nor bust. Instead, they say, it seems like business as usual.
“We didn’t get the crowds we wanted,” Richard Reeves, the owner of Spirits in Evans, said after the first Sunday of Columbia County sales. “Hopefully things will pick up as more people realize it’s going on.”
He said that while his Saturday sales might have fallen off a little, for the most part things have remained steady.
Lisa Wall, a manager at Harvard’s Wine and Beverage, said her store was experiencing a similar phenomenon.
“The Sunday sales aren’t as good as we hoped, but they are picking up,” she said. She noted that the ability to buy on Sunday seemed to have very little effect on the bottom line on either Saturday or Monday and that the store had done very little to promote Sunday sales.
“We put a sign up,” she said. “That’s about it.”
Angel Wallace, the manager of Billy Jack’s Party Shop, said that in the nearly eight months Sunday sales have been legal in Grovetown, she has seen a drop in both Saturday and Monday receipts.
More striking, she said, was the decrease in Sunday sales after first Richmond County and then Columbia County passed Sunday sales proposals.