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Written by Elma Steven | Updated on July, 2024

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Find Out- Is Liquor store Business Profitable?

The profitability of your Liquor store business depends on 4 important factors: Industry Prospects, Investments, Revenue Sources, Cost and Profitability. We have taken a deep dive to find out potential profitability from the Liquor store business. 

Liquor store Industry Prospects

The global alcoholic spirits market size was estimated to be worth $456.090 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $2,001 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 2.5% during the forecast period (2023–2031) (globenewswire). The global wine and spirits market size was valued at $31.85 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach multimillion $by 2029, with a magnificent growth in CAGR during the forecast period 2022-2029 (precisionreports). the global liquor market size was valued at $125,157.98 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.66% during the forecast period, reaching $184,229.14 million by 2028 (researchreportsworld). While this report does not provide a specific market size for the US liquor store business in 2023, it indicates a significant and growing market value for the global liquor market, which could be indicative of a proportional increase in the US market size.


  • Storefront Acquisition or Leasehold Improvements: If you’re purchasing a property or leasing a space, costs associated with the acquisition would be your initial CapEx. For leased spaces, investments in leasehold improvements to customize the retail space to your specifications, such as layout changes, flooring, painting and other renovations, are essential.
  • Shelving and Display Units: High-quality, durable shelving and display units tailored to accommodate bottles of various sizes and weights, including specialized display cases for premium products.
  • Refrigeration Units: For chilling beverages that require cold storage, such as white wines, beers and certain spirits. This might include walk-in coolers or glass-front refrigerators.
  • Point of Sale (POS) System: Investment in a modern POS system that can handle sales transactions, inventory management and possibly integrate with online sales channels if you plan to offer online ordering.
  • Security System: Advanced security systems, including surveillance cameras, alarm systems and possibly access control systems for restricted areas, to ensure the safety of your inventory and premises.
  • Initial Inventory Purchase: A significant initial investment in purchasing a wide range of inventory to stock your shelves, including liquor, wine, beer and related accessories.
  • Lighting Fixtures: High-quality lighting to enhance the shopping experience, highlight products and ensure the store is well-lit and inviting.
  • Signage: Both exterior and interior signage that reflects your brand and helps customers navigate your store. This includes outdoor signs to attract attention and aisle markers or product labels inside the store.
  • Furniture and Decor: For creating a comfortable and appealing shopping environment, including checkout counters, customer seating areas (if offering tastings or holding events) and decorative elements that align with your branding.
  • Technology and Communications Equipment: Computers, printers and networking equipment for managing the business operations, along with software licenses for inventory management, accounting and other back-office functions.
  • Delivery Vehicle: If offering delivery services, the purchase of a reliable vehicle equipped to transport alcohol safely to customers’ homes or events.
  • Marketing and Promotional Materials: Initial costs for marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, business cards and launch advertising campaigns to build awareness of your new store.
  • Licenses and Permits: Upfront fees associated with obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to legally sell alcohol in Omaha, including a liquor license, business licenses and health and safety permits.
  • Insurance Premiums: Initial premiums for comprehensive insurance coverage, including property insurance, liability insurance, liquor liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance if hiring employees.

Carefully budgeting for these CapEx items will ensure that your liquor store in Omaha is well-prepared to open its doors to customers with a fully stocked and welcoming retail environment. It’s advisable to conduct thorough market research and consult with financial advisors or other liquor store owners to accurately estimate these costs and develop a comprehensive business plan.


  • Liquor Sales: The primary source of revenue will come from the sale of various types of liquor, including whiskey, vodka, rum, tequila and other spirits. Offering a wide range of products, from budget to premium brands, can cater to different customer preferences and price points.
  • Wine Sales: A significant portion of revenue may come from selling red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Providing a selection that spans from everyday wines to rare vintages can attract a broad customer base.
  • Beer Sales: Including craft beers, imported beers and popular domestic brands in your inventory can appeal to beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike, contributing to your overall revenue.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Selling a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, such as sodas, sparkling water and mixers, can cater to customers looking for drink accompaniments or alternatives to alcohol.
  • Tobacco Products: If permissible under local regulations, offering tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and smoking accessories can generate additional revenue.
  • Snacks and Convenience Items: Carrying a selection of snacks, gourmet foods and convenience items can increase sales, especially for customers seeking a one-stop-shop for their entertaining needs.
  • Tastings and Events: Hosting wine, beer, or liquor tasting events (where local laws permit) can attract customers to the store and generate income through event fees or increased sales resulting from the event.
  • Delivery Services: Offering delivery services for online or phone orders can tap into the convenience market, generating revenue through delivery fees and increasing overall sales volume.
  • Loyalty Programs: Implementing a loyalty program where customers earn points or receive discounts on future purchases can encourage repeat business and enhance customer loyalty.
  • Gift Baskets and Custom Orders: Creating and selling pre-made or custom gift baskets featuring a selection of wines, spirits and gourmet items can cater to the gift market, especially during holidays and special occasions.
  • Special Orders and Reservations: Offering customers the option to special order rare or hard-to-find items, or reserve products from upcoming releases, can generate high-margin sales.

E-commerce Sales: Developing an online sales platform where customers can browse and purchase your inventory online can expand your market reach beyond Omaha, especially if you offer shipping to areas where it’s legally permissible.

By leveraging these diverse revenue sources, your liquor store business in Omaha can cater to a wide range of customer interests and occasions, maximizing income potential and building a robust business model that withstands market fluctuations and competitive pressures. Continuous market research and customer feedback will be key to identifying new opportunities and areas for expansion.

Cost of Goods Sold

  • Inventory Purchase Costs:
  • Liquor: The wholesale cost of purchasing spirits, including whiskey, vodka, rum, tequila and other distilled beverages.
  • Wine: Costs associated with purchasing red, white, rose and sparkling wines from distributors or directly from wineries.
  • Beer: The purchase cost of craft beers, imported beers and domestic brands, including kegs, bottles and cans.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Costs for buying sodas, juices, tonic water and other mixers that customers might purchase alongside alcoholic beverages.
  • Tobacco Products: If applicable, the wholesale cost of cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products offered in your store.
  • Delivery and Shipping Fees: Costs incurred for shipping and receiving inventory from suppliers to your store, including freight charges and any handling fees.
  • Breakage and Loss: Costs associated with inventory loss due to breakage, spoilage (for perishable items like certain mixers), or theft, which affect the total cost of goods available for sale.
  • Volume Discounts and Rebates: Adjustments in CoGS due to volume discounts received from suppliers or rebates for purchasing certain quantities of products, which can lower your overall inventory costs.

Managing these variable costs involves strategic purchasing to secure favorable prices from suppliers, optimizing inventory levels to minimize holding costs and reduce the risk of spoilage or obsolescence and implementing effective inventory management practices to minimize loss due to theft or breakage. Regularly reviewing supplier contracts, negotiating better terms and exploring alternative sourcing options can also help reduce the cost of goods sold and improve your liquor store’s profitability.

Operating Expenses

  • Rent or Lease Payments: Costs associated with leasing the retail space for your liquor store. This is a fixed expense that doesn’t fluctuate with sales volume.
  • Utilities: Monthly expenses for electricity, water, gas, internet and telephone services necessary to maintain the operational efficiency of the store, including lighting, refrigeration and security systems.
  • Salaries and Wages: Payments to employees who work in the store, including sales staff and store managers. This category also encompasses payroll taxes, health insurance, retirement benefits and any other employee-related benefits.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Expenses related to promoting your liquor store to attract new customers and retain existing ones. This can include digital marketing, social media campaigns, print ads, promotional events and in-store displays.
  • Insurance: Premiums for comprehensive business insurance coverage, including property insurance for the store and its contents, liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
  • Professional Services: Fees for services provided by accountants, lawyers and consultants who assist with various aspects of running the business, such as financial management, legal advice and compliance with liquor licensing regulations.
  • Software Subscriptions: Ongoing costs for business management software, including point of sale (POS) systems, inventory management software, accounting software and any other tools that facilitate business operations.
  • Office Supplies and Equipment: Expenses for office supplies (paper, ink, etc.) and equipment (computers, printers, phones) necessary for the administration of your business.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Regular maintenance and necessary repairs of the store’s physical infrastructure, equipment and fixtures to ensure a safe and appealing shopping environment for customers.
  • Security Systems: Monthly expenses for monitoring and maintaining security systems, including surveillance cameras and alarm systems, to protect against theft and ensure the safety of employees and customers.
  • Bank Fees and Payment Processing Fees: Costs associated with managing bank accounts and processing customer payments, especially fees for credit card transactions.
  • Travel and Entertainment: Expenses related to business travel for purchasing inventory, attending trade shows, or networking events, as well as any entertainment expenses for hosting business meetings with suppliers or partners.
  • Depreciation: Non-cash expenses that account for the depreciation of long-term assets over their useful life, such as shelving, refrigeration units and POS systems.

Efficient management of these operating expenses is essential for ensuring the profitability and sustainability of your liquor store business. Implementing cost-effective strategies, such as optimizing staffing levels, leveraging digital marketing and carefully managing inventory to reduce insurance and utility costs, can help control these costs and enhance your business’s financial health.

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