RICHMOND (VR) – The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) released its unaudited draft financial results for fiscal year (FY) 2022 to the Virginia Department of Accounts and the Auditor of Public Accounts showing gross revenue of $1.4 billion, up $60 million over FY 2021. ABC revenues include the sale of distilled spirits, Virginia wines and mixers and the collection of license fees and other miscellaneous revenues which include a one-time net gain on the sale of ABC’s former central office and warehouse facilities in Richmond.
Each year, per the Code of Virginia, Virginia ABC remits earnings to the commonwealth for designated state programs and services. For FY 2022, ABC contributed a total of $622.8 million, an increase of $6.4 million over the previous year. This reflects $243.6 million in profits from retail sales, $294.8 million in taxes (retail) and $84.4 million collected in wine and beer taxes.
“The shifting landscape of a post-pandemic economy and our ability to continue adjusting our response to consumer demand demonstrates the resourcefulness of our ABC teammates, particularly those in retail and distribution,” said Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “Having completed our first year in the new facilities in Hanover County, we are looking forward to greater growth and capacity to meet the changing e-commerce needs of our retail industry in FY 2023 and beyond.”
During FY 2022, ABC store sales increased 3.1%, from $1.3 billion in FY 2021 to $1.4 billion in FY 2022. This growth was driven by sales to licensees, with sales to retail customers declining by 2.4%. Sunday sales declined for the first time since being authorized in FY 2015, from $104.9 million in FY 2021 to $98.9 million in FY 2022 but was 24.5% higher than pre-pandemic Sunday sales of $79.4 million in FY 2019. Commercial property owners and contractors impacted by the pandemic and supply chain disruptions put a damper on ABC’s FY 2022 plans to increase their retail footprint across the commonwealth, resulting in two new stores generating $3.7 million in sales. ABC also oversaw six store expansions/remodels and 10 store relocations to growing market areas, enhancing customer service and accessibility.
While the rate of online orders declined over the course of the year as customers returned to in-person shopping, online ordering remained materially higher than pre-pandemic levels. As expected, following the pandemic, licensees re-opened and restocked their bars and consumers returned to dining out, resulting in FY 2022 sales to restaurant and hospitality businesses exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Licensee sales reached $229.5 million in FY 2022, 43.2% higher than FY 2021 sales of $160.3 million, and 22% higher than pre-pandemic sales of $188.1 million in FY 2019, demonstrating significant post-pandemic recovery and growth in this segment of the commonwealth’s economy.
According to FY 2022 sales, the top five brands purchased in Virginia ABC stores were:
1. Tito’s Handmade – domestic vodka
2. Hennessy VS – cognac/Armagnac
3. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Black – Tennessee whiskey
4. Patron Silver – tequila
5. Jim Beam – straight bourbon
These five brands repeated their FY 2021 standing as the top five brands in Virginia. Of the five top sellers, Tito’s Handmade vodka saw the most impressive leap in sales, from $57.9 million to $66.9 million, a 15.6% increase, followed by Jim Beam from $23.2 million to $24.2 million, a 4.3% increase. Sales of Hennessy VS and Patron Silver fell in FY 2022 due to supply chain disruptions. Hennessy VS sales went from $52.8 million in FY 2021 to $42.5 million in FY 2022, a 19.4% decrease. Patron Silver sales went from $28.9 million in FY 2021 to $28.6 million in FY 2022, a 1% decrease. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Black sales were unchanged at $30.4 million for both years.
Suppliers and Virginia ABC continued to be impacted by supply chain issues in FY 2022 and worked mightily to fully meet the ongoing increased consumer demand level. Greater demand for aged products quickly depleted inventories manufactured years ahead of the pandemic with no ready supply to supplement inventories. Packaging issues, workforce availability, ingredient shortages and shipping bottlenecks are just a few of the challenges that presented additional pressures on performance throughout the supply chain, from manufacturer to retailer.
During FY 2022, Virginia ABC completed projects, made significant institutional changes and invested in its employees to support continued growth. This included:
- The successful move from the Richmond warehouse to a new distribution center in Hanover County, enabling retail operations efficiencies such as automating shipment of our highest volume products and greater shipping volume into the future. During FY 2022, the distribution center set a new production record, shipping over 36,000 cases in a single day.
- The addition of a chief transformation officer to drive sustainable infrastructure changes that build upon ABC’s capabilities to demonstrate higher responsiveness and deeper impact for their customers and community.
- Employee wage and salary increases, and the permanent implementation of pay adjustments instituted at the start of the pandemic. In addition to across-the-board state pay increases, Virginia ABC used its status as an authority to make targeted investments in compensation to remain competitive as the labor market tightened, enabling it to recruit and retain a workforce that is essential to generating revenue for the commonwealth and supporting ABC licensed businesses.
Virginia ABC’s final, audited results will be released in the fall. For more information about ABC’s sales and revenue, visit www.abc.virginia.gov.