How Much Do Liquor Stores Make? Profitability & Earning Guide

Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Lydia Martin

If you’re an aspiring liquor store owner, you should know what to expect in owning a liquor store, like the operating costs and several other factors, to maximize the income and make it a profitable business.

Opening a liquor store ownership can be challenging and involves being consistent with daily operations to keep up with the local competition.

But how much do liquor stores make? My team and I asked reliable and successful liquor store business owners to know the answer, so keep reading!

How Much Liquor Stores Really Make?

Liquor Bottles on a Shelves

How much liquor stores make varies depending on several factors like location, product range, and customer base.

“Should alcoholics go to liquor stores?” — Ally Carter

On average, liquor stores in less populated areas can make around $25,000-$50,000, with a profit margin between 20-30% yearly.

However, in high-traffic areas, the figures can soar to $70,000-$100,000 (and above), with a profit margin of up to 50% yearly.

But do you know the difference between liquor and liqueur?

What Is The Average Profit Of A Liquor Store?

Less Populated Area

Monthly: Small business owners related to the liquor business stores located in less populated areas may generate around $25,000-$50,000 in monthly revenue.

Annually: The figures above translate to an annual income of $300,000-$600,000, depending on the overhead costs, pricing strategy, etc.

High-Traffic Areas

Monthly: Liquor retailers can rake in monthly sales anywhere from $70,000-$100,000 in high-traffic areas.

Annually: Liquor store owner makes around $840,000-$1,200,000 in high-popular areas. However, it may vary depending on profit margins, liquor sales, operating costs, how many employees are employed, etc.

Success Tips For Liquor Store Owners

Store Shelves Full of Liquor Bottles

Stock Unique Items

Create a distinct inventory if you want your liquor store to stand out from other stores and offer competitive prices. Offer hard-to-find products like limited-edition wines and other spirits.

Speak with suppliers about lesser-known items, starting with a small order to gauge year-round demand. Upon finding success, order in bulk and adjust the pricing accordingly.

Trust us; a unique selection will attract customers seeking novel and exclusive experiences, fostering loyalty and driving sales.

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Host Events & Tastings

Educate and engage customers by organizing events and tastings. Share knowledge about different drinks, and introduce new products to your family and friends.

These events add fun and excitement and serve as free marketing for your liquor store. Retail businesses will often host these events at no cost, benefiting your customers and promoting their products.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved, creating a memorable and enriching experience for your patrons.

Offer Impulse Buys

Improve your liquor store’s impulse items to boost your sales by offering high-margin products which you can sell at higher prices. Liquor store shoppers often purchase these items including:

  • Party supplies
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Shooters
  • Bar materials
  • Home brewing gear
  • Apparel merchandise

Create an enticing display of these products near the checkout counter to entice customers into making additional purchases, ultimately driving up your store’s revenue.

Use Pricing Strategies

Liquor Bottles on a Shelves with Price

A solid business plan involves implementing effective pricing techniques that can significantly impact the profitability of your liquor store.

Charging higher prices for exclusive products can boost profit margins, while offering products with lower profit margins may attract more sales. Also, consider credit and cash transactions as customer options.

Striking the right balance is essential, as perceived overpricing can hinder sales and profitability.

So, we suggest consistently evaluating the market trends, customer preferences, and competition to optimize pricing, making your liquor store one of the most profitable businesses.

Loyalty Clubs Boost Sales

Cater to your actual customer by establishing wine [1], beer, or spirit clubs. Loyalty Club is a powerful strategy to drive a higher profit margin and boost customer spending.

We encourage liquor store owners to create a customer loyalty program allowing easy in-person or online sign-ups.

Other liquor stores reward loyal customers with exclusive benefits, discounts, and special offers, fostering a strong bond with your brand.

Follow Trends

To boost sales, keep a finger on the pulse of liquor industry trends [2]. Stay updated on new drink styles and alcohol that gain sudden popularity.

We suggest considering your potential customers’ tastes and preferences, as the demographics of your neighborhood can influence the products your own liquor store offers.

Being agile and responsive to market demands will entice customers to purchase alcohol, increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Is Liquor Store Profitable?

Person Counting Money

Liquor stores can be highly profitable ventures, but success requires careful planning and strategic decision-making.

Factors such as supplier choices, customer base, overhead costs, profit margin, and inventory management influence profitability.

We suggest consulting experts and legal professionals to provide valuable guidance in ensuring compliance with federal regulations and laws governing ordering, pricing methods, and training employees.

On average, liquor store owners make around 15%-20% (up to 50%) of annual profit, making them a lucrative business opportunity for liquor store owners navigating the industry wisely.

How Much Do You Need To Invest In A Liquor Store?

Investing in a liquor store may cost around $100,000 and above. This sum encompasses various expenses such as building acquisition, liquor license, marketing budget, inventory, and other startup costs.

“In spirits and strategy lies the recipe for a profitable liquor store adventure.” – Liquor Laboratory

Having a clear understanding of these estimated expenses is crucial for creating a concrete business plan and forecasting future income.

While certain costs, like inventory and licenses, have remained consistent in the past few years, the overall investment will ultimately depend on your choices and business objectives.


How much does it cost to open a liquor store?

Opening a liquor store ranges from $100,000 and upwards (higher than grocery stores), covering expenses such as building, licenses, permits, marketing, inventory, and startup costs. For small businesses, it may be lower in cost.

What is the most profitable alcohol to sell?

The most profitable alcohol to sell can vary based on market demand and customer preferences. Generally, high-end spirits, craft beers, and unique wines with premium pricing tend to yield a more increased profit margin.

How much is a liquor store owner’s salary?

The salary of liquor store owners varies depending on factors such as the store’s profitability, location, and business size. On average, a liquor store owner makes around $50,000-$100,000 annually.

On A Final Note

Liquor store makes around $50,000-$70,000 annually (for less populated areas), which can go up to $100,000 (in high-traffic areas), depending on the location, products, expenses, and other operating costs.

So, we can say that liquor store owners make good money selling different beverages, although the profit depends on the business strategy.

If you want to succeed in this field, consider following the trends, offering loyalty programs and impulse buys, improving inventory, and hosting tastings or events to attract more customers, leading to higher profits.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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