BY DEBBIE PAGE
ABC Board Chair Layton Getsinger reported to the Troutman Town Council that the store once again topped last year’s sales, reaching a 6 percent increase over 2022 during the first quarter of the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Speaking on behalf of the Troutman ABC Board members Wes Edmiston and Kim Cavin and General Manager Evelyn Walls, Getsinger reported that the store received a clean audit for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
For the 2023-24 fiscal year budget, Getsinger projected sales revenue to reach $3,007,000. He budgeted a profit, after distributions, of $145,951.
“Based on sales to date, our projected revenue for the year is $3,224,000, which is $217,000 ahead of budget,” he said. “These numbers will go up significantly by the end of the second quarter.”
“The second quarter of the year is typically our busiest of the year. We should see the normal uptick heading into Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons.”
“We are at full staffing at the moment. We do foresee the need for a part-time administrative assistant once we have begun construction on the second store,” said Getsinger.
SECOND STORE PLANNING BEGINS
With the council approving the border annexation agreement changes with Mooresville on Thursday night to bring the ABC Board’s property near the southern entrance of Flower House Loop into the town limits, Getsinger said the ABC Board will begin looking at the feasibility of a second store.
The board purchased the 7.57-acre property last summer in preparation for a second store. Also, with the board’s building loan expiring at the end of July, members voted to pay off the $457,414 loan debt on the current Main Street building on July 13 to avoid a significant interest rate increase.
The board used its retained working capital of $589,368 and $138,604 saved in a specific capital project fund to pay off the debt, leaving the board $160,000 in savings and working capital of $297,628 to comfortably continue store operations.
The board has added nearly $50,000 more to its working capital since July.
Getsinger said the board “determined that between the projected new loan rate of 6.75% to 6.91% and what we can make in savings, there is a nearly a 4% point spread. Our expiring loan rate was 3.47 percent.”
“Therefore, we felt paying off this store will allow for us to go into the second store debt free.”
Getsinger said the board has not yet given the official green light to move forward since it is watching economic conditions for a possible downturn. He believes they will make a decision in six months.
In the meantime, a lot of groundwork must be done, including completing the business plan, getting the property annexed into the town and rezoned, placing an informational sign of a coming ABC store on the site for 30 days to allow public comment, and getting ABC Commission approval for the business plan.
Getsinger said the new store would use the same architectural design but would be significantly larger to serve as central warehousing for the two facilities. The board already added 1,900 square feet to the Main Street store as sales growth quickly outpaced its storage capacity.
FIRST QUARTER REPORT
First quarter sales were $803,414, which is 27 percent of the projected sales. Sales in July were $280,708 (up 8.5 percent over last July), August $262,444 (up 5.6%), and September $260,261 (up 5.6%).
The first quarter net profit was $57,457 (7 percent of sales and 39% of annual budgeted profit). “This is just slightly ahead of last year’s $54,692 in 1st quarter profits, which was 7 percent of sales,” said Getsinger.
Distributions for first quarter include Town of Troutman ($11,350), $2,837.50 each to the town’s designated entities (Friends of Troutman Library, ESC Park, Troutman Parks and Recreation, and Troutman area I-SS schools (Troutman Elementary and Middle, SIHS, and CATS – $709.38 each).
The law enforcement distribution to the Troutman Police Department is $3,264, and the Drug-Alcohol Coalition of Iredell will receive $4,570 for alcohol and drug education.
Getsinger reported the store’s current retained working capital is $347,525, against an ABC Commission allowed maximum of $618,948, or 56 percent of its target.
Getsinger reported the store has had $16,498,815 in net sales since opening on December 1, 2016. Distributions for the Town of Troutman and its entities total $354,751, with alcohol education/rehabilitation receiving $79,337 and law enforcement getting $56,670, for a total of $490,758 in distributions.
The store has had a net profit of $1,098,173 after distributions since opening, or 7 percent of sales.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Henkel called the store’s accomplishments “amazing,” attributing its success to excellent leadership of ABC Boards past and present and excellent management and customer service.