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Old 07-03-2018, 07:44 AM
 
Location: World
3,148 posts, read 3,207,897 times
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Location is the key.

Liquor shop just outside the border of a dry County will do great business.

Liquor shop in a bad neighbourhood of a big Metropolitan Area will do a good Business. I visited one in Atlanta where all inventory was behind Bullet Proof Glass. Hats off to the immigrants- Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Arabs to run such stores.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:53 AM
 
2,613 posts, read 4,101,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechaMan View Post
Hey All,

Would like to discuss the idea of investing in a SMALL liquor store operation. Also what are other's ideas on the latest and greatest "recession proof" businesses or categories. We are probably going to hit one no later than 2020 so I want to get ahead of the game. While my job should be safe (we are the fastest growing department in the company, Fortune 500, by that time I will have 2 years tenure) I would like to start building multiple streams of income. My accountant has formed an investment group so I am giving about $100 a month currently to that. That will be a long term play in addition to leveraging the 401(k) match which I just qualified for.

Now I need something I can really get my hands on develop recession proof skills that are a bit more local, under the radar yet sustainable. I am not trying to become a Liquor King and dominate the industry just want a piece of the pie. I would have one of my retired parents check in and help manage the storefront operation while I do the bookkeeping, maintain the permits, pay taxes etc. with the help of my accountant. Being now that they have liquor delivery services maybe we can integrate with Delivery.com and Drizly if the numbers look right or just do it through our own website.

Does or has anyone owned a Liquor Store, and have any immediate pros/cons. I saw one for $20k in Hartford, CT area. Between my Wife and I the budget is currently $25-50k. I know alcohol (come from a family of alcoholics) and I know Marketing. I also have watched a lot of a Bar Rescue. But is there anything I'm missing from a "retail" operations standpoint or any specific ordinances in the NY tri-state area I am overlooking that would add to the difficulty that I am not seeing? (I am NOT buying one in NYC 5 borough city limits as this market is too regulated and competitive, probably will be CT, NJ, Yonkers etc. Something I can drive or take the train up to check on once a month.

Any other recession proof business ideas? Or businesses that actually thrive in a recession? (No not interested in tobacco) Thanks!
Gas station, convenience store, Edible Arrangements, motel (lower quality), daycare, florist
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
10,638 posts, read 3,311,331 times
Reputation: 12748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jowel View Post
The funeral business is pretty darn recession proof. It sure wouldn't be for me but it meets that criteria.


This is a great idea and I would consider that before owning a liquor store. Liquor has too many liabilities! You're screwed if you accidently sell to a minor. You'll be fined and it might include other ramifications. And don't ever say you won't, because you won't be at the register 100% of the time, if ever!


At any rate, the idea of a funeral home would also be more lucrative I would think.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,964 posts, read 5,183,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
This is a great idea and I would consider that before owning a liquor store. Liquor has too many liabilities! You're screwed if you accidently sell to a minor. You'll be fined and it might include other ramifications. And don't ever say you won't, because you won't be at the register 100% of the time, if ever!


At any rate, the idea of a funeral home would also be more lucrative I would think.
Its not as cut and dried as you think. And the initial investment is pretty high, and you have to hire a mortician. You might think you're buying or renting a building, but you have to have at least one hearse. You have to have staff, sometimes multiple staff, to direct the funeral...Record keeping is a big deal too. A long time family owned funeral home in my hometown caused a scandal when the fourth generation owner mixed up some cremated remains and was found out, she ended up spending a short sentence in jail.

A gas station in a nice part of town here has a good business; they sell gas (obviously) but have a large wine and craft beer shop. They advertise as "Smith's Wine Shop" and outside they have BP gas. They also sell nice coffee (roasted beans) and pride themselves on selling quality coffee to the morning gas-n-go crowd but don't do the whole Barista-late thing. They have half an aisle of Gas Station junk food, Cigarettes and lottery tickets behind the counter, and most of the shop is wine.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,670 posts, read 9,420,097 times
Reputation: 14916
OP, reading the interchange here, is it possible you've already made up your mind and you're just seeking confirmation? You seem to have an answer for some informed negatives, and your answer is not well-informed.

If you're just looking for people to pat you on the back and say go for it, well, it is your money. let us know how it works out. I'm skeptical, but I wish you the best.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:55 PM
 
3,583 posts, read 1,510,560 times
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If you think you can set up a liquor store for even $50k you are sadly mistaken, unless it's a rough as heck ghetto store. Just the inventory will exceed that.

You will have to secure a license which can vary by locality, from difficult and expensive to very difficult and very expensive.

You will be dealing with some very unsavory characters, not only across the counter but also in the office.

There is a constant risk of robbery and stock shrinkage (= employees stealing from you). It's a business where there is a lot of cash money changing hands all the time, and the inventory is relatively small and portable, unidentifiable (no serial numbers on whiskey), readily resellable, and of interest to a lot of people. You, or someone you can really really trust (like your son who just got out of the Marines) will need to be on site every minute you possibly can.

There are already well entrenched competitors wherever you go. You may face very severe intimidation from them. Depending on who owns which stores, you may find that certain competitors have sufficient leverage with distributors to keep them from selling to you.

Are you prepared for this?
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:55 PM
 
424 posts, read 176,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy62 View Post
In Michigan Costco and every other major grocery stores are selling liquor and have been for years. But liquor is regulated by the state.
The OP said grocery stores in his area can't sell liquor and I stated that laws change and as example used Colorado. Hope that clears up the confusion.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:58 PM
 
424 posts, read 176,153 times
Reputation: 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
If you think you can set up a liquor store for even $50k you are sadly mistaken, unless it's a rough as heck ghetto store. Just the inventory will exceed that.

You will have to secure a license which can vary by locality, from difficult and expensive to very difficult and very expensive.

You will be dealing with some very unsavory characters, not only across the counter but also in the office.

There is a constant risk of robbery and stock shrinkage (= employees stealing from you). It's a business where there is a lot of cash money changing hands all the time, and the inventory is relatively small and portable, unidentifiable (no serial numbers on whiskey), readily resellable, and of interest to a lot of people. You, or someone you can really really trust (like your son who just got out of the Marines) will need to be on site every minute you possibly can.

There are already well entrenched competitors wherever you go. You may face very severe intimidation from them. Depending on who owns which stores, you may find that certain competitors have sufficient leverage with distributors to keep them from selling to you.

Are you prepared for this?
I know someone who bought a very small wine store. Maybe 20' x 40' in size and the inventory alone was $125,000.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:30 PM
 
4,707 posts, read 2,251,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
At any rate, the idea of a funeral home would also be more lucrative I would think.
Lots of stiff competition in the funeral business, with all the consolidation many of the Mom&Pop parlors have gone under.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:38 PM
 
11,689 posts, read 16,437,401 times
Reputation: 16330
Quote:
Originally Posted by MechaMan View Post
Thanks for all the input everyone.

Several good points. The reason why I say Liquor store is that in certain States (mainly in the Northeast like in NY/PA) you cannot sell Liquor in Supermarkets or Grocery stores by state and/or county law. I do not see that changing anytime soon. When I was in PA and trying to underage drink it was virtually impossible to get liquor because the liquor licenses they hand out within city limits is incredibly restricted and they class beer/wine separate from hard liquor.

In NY suburbs it is very common to go to a specific liquor store or order delivery from a liquor store. I think it has to do with your State's liquor license laws and how stringent they are. I am trying to leverage this regulation to my advantage as it does insulate you against competition to a certain degree. The market entry barrier is fairly high. Yet if you have some knowledge about how to run a business then you can excel much better than the current crop of owners out there. Most of these owners do not have a degree and don't have the fundamentals of marketing principles they just went in their all willy nilly and somehow lucked out (to a certain degree).

That being said, I do understand retail storefront has liability and risk but if I can put only $20-50k into something and use my business acumen to clean up the operations, books and add value then improve the cash flow with my marketing (with the Wife handling Branding, Graphic design and Web development) then basically I want to milk it for a while have Pops check on the shop a few times a week and hire a few hourly part-timers in shifts. Then eventually re-sell for a profit. (For $200k instead of the $20k I bought it for.)

These days you can have the Wi-Fi cams so people thinking that the workers would steal money well they can't. I'll be watching from my phone at random times and also sending Mom a URL so she can watch from her tablet as well

Also in case of theft I'll have it automatically record the last 48 hours and spend the money to get the crystal clear one so Mr. Thief's face will be in 3000x pixel quality and he'll get the 15 minutes of fame he was always looking for

There are many payment apps you can use to track the business income from the POS terminal remotely every time I get a sale I'll have an automated e-mail delivered to my inbox pipeline it into a bookkeeping app and determine if I'm on pace or not. If some funny business is going on I'll know from the alerts I set up that will say "Hey you're under by $1k for the past week" (which may or may not be a big variance depending on the shop).

In my day job I do budget tracking/pacing weekly for marketing budgets as well as pacing reports for sales goals so I already have the proper habits ingrained.

I wonder though if maybe it would be possible just to have a Liquor delivery service for rare imported products and then just mark up by a huge margin. Maybe a warehouse would be cheaper than retail storefront but could be more difficult to keep an eye on.
I am not sure where you plan to do this but inventory, lease, insurance, licenses, payroll for 20-50k? As to "is not going to change" - store owners in Ok fought new laws for years and finally lost. If it were such a fool proof cheap business to get into and stay in with a profit every potential investor immigrant with 100k would have done it. Cheers!
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