Montgomery County opens “spirits only” store

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POOLESVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County recently opened its 26th alcoholic beverages store, but the latest shop is a bit different. 

The new store location in Poolesville is the first “spirits only” store operated by the county– all other locations sell spirits as well as beer and wine. 

According to the county’s Alcohol Beverage Services, the store will provide access to residents who previously had to drive 15 to 20 minutes away to buy spirits. 

Another plus, they say, is less competition for mom and pop beer and wine stores.  

“If we’re able to do a spirits only store and it be profitable, I would much rather do that than it be a full-service store just to allow the other local businesses to thrive instead of being a competitor to them,” explained division chief for retail operations, Kent Massie. 

Massie explains that the county has heard from licensed alcohol beverage business owners during forums on the issue of competition. 

“There’s a lot of contention because when we open a new store, there’s beer and wine stores out there that we’re directly competing with and so it causes a lot of animosity,” said Massie.  

And for over a year, the county has been planning for the new Poolesville location before opening at the end of May.

The new store concept will be monitored with the possibility of adding more spirits only stores in the future. 

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