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Allegheny County liquor sales highest in state

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Allegheny County shoppers bought more wine and spirits than anyone else in the state last year, according to a report released on Tuesday by the state Liquor Control Board.

The county topped 66 other counties statewide with more than $260 million in sales, or 13.4 percent of sales statewide, compared to second-place Philadelphia, which posted sales of more than $231 million, or 11.9 percent.

“More stores equate to more sales,” LCB spokeswoman Stacy Kriedeman said. There are 76 state liquor stores in Allegheny county versus 52 stores in Philadelphia County.

Regionally, the southeastern part of the state, including Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, accounted for almost 39 percent of sales statewide while the six-county Pittsburgh region, including Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, made up just shy of 21 percent of sales.

The LCB's annual Retail Year in Review report ranks counties and stores by sales figures, details what products sell best and outlines the busiest times for state stores.

“The Retail Year in Review is a very unique report in that it focuses solely on sales data from the retail side of the agency,” said LCB Chairman Joseph “Skip” Brion. “It clearly illustrates consumer tastes and industry trends in the beverage alcohol market in Pennsylvania that we can then use to ensure we're providing the products people want at a fair price.”

The report shows the top five categories of products last year were plain vodka, flavored vodka, bourbon, spiced rum and schnapps/liqueurs.

American chardonnay wines, Canadian whisky, unflavored rum, boxed wines, and American cabernet wines rounded out the top 10.

December, with the holiday season rush, was the LCB's strongest month with more than 7.1 million transactions rung in December 2012. November was the second busiest month with more than 5.6 million transactions, according to the report.

Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or kandren@tribweb.com.

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