Opening of Total Wine superstore costs Edina $765K in liquor revenue

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The opening of the Total Wine & More liquor superstore in Bloomington was described at the time as the biggest competition ever for Minnesota's liquor stores.

And it seems that this prediction was true, if the impact on liquor businesses in nearby Edina is anything to go by.

The national chain opened its new Bloomington store in November, after a protracted battle to get a liquor license amid opposition from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association and concerns over the way the company has done business elsewhere.

And the impact of the big-box retailer is showing, with the city of Edina saying revenues from its three municipally-owned liquor businesses having fallen $765,100 short of its target this year, according to KSTP.

"They have made an enormous impact on our revenues," city manager Scott Neal said, according to the news station. "There's been a four percent decrease in our revenues. That 4 percent over many millions of dollars is something that's notable to us, and we see the impact of that this year."

The Sun Current reports that Edina had planned to transfer just under $1.8 million from its liquor store fund to its other city funds but will now only transfer $1 million.

The newspaper reports that the city's revenue projection were made in 2013, before Total Wine opened in Bloomington.

"At that point, our market did not include a major new competitor," he told a council meeting last week.

A study in December found that Edina was one of the drier suburbs in the metro area, with one liquor store per 15,800 inhabitants, compared to 1 per 3,600 in Bloomington.

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