What better time to start something new than on your 80th birthday? As the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) marks its 80th year of operation, the celebration will kick off with the unveiling of a beautiful new premier store design in Williamsburg on Friday, March 7.
The new retail concept features a layout and design that encourages customers to discover products they might not have known about, without forsaking the ease of identifying favorite brands they have come to expect in an ABC store. With the exception of ABC’s consistently wide selection of products, customers in the premier store will recognize little resembling their usual ABC shopping experience.
“Today, nearly 80 years after opening our first store, we are taking the ABC shopping experience far from its stark, behind-the-counter early design to a retail space that invites customers not just to shop, but to explore its shelves and see products they might not have seen before,” said Wilson Jones, director of ABC’s Retail Division.
The premier store design incorporates retail space planning techniques that lead customers through the store in proven, U-shaped traffic patterns that expose them to many products. New flooring, lighting, ceiling, wall treatments, product displays and a tasting area are other highlights of the premier store experience. The Williamsburg store also pays homage to the early days of distilled spirits with a reproduction vintage moonshine still on display.
“The Virginia General Assembly established the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on March 7, 1934, and over the course of its 80 years it has contributed more than $8.2 billion to the commonwealth,” said ABC Chairman M. Boyd Marcus Jr. “The agency has a proud record of efficiently serving the commonwealth, and we are enthusiastic about crossing the threshold of this important milestone with the unveiling of a beautiful new store design. As we celebrate our past, we also look forward to a robust future.”
Virginia ABC will eventually remodel other stores using the new design concept, but the process will be gradual and take place as leases expire and the market allows. In addition to the Williamsburg store, immediate plans include remodeling stores in Leesburg (210 Fort Evans Rd.) and Virginia Beach (1612 Laskin Rd.)
Marcus will join Commissioners Judy Napier and Jeff Painter, the Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, other ABC colleagues and guests at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 7, to open the premier store located at 1246 Richmond Rd. in the Williamsburg Shopping Center next to the Food Lion. The celebration will include brief remarks, a ribbon cutting, photos and informal store tours followed by refreshments at 10 a.m. and a (non-alcoholic) gift for the first 80 customers.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing $1.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 347 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now in its 80th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
ABC Marks 80 Years with the Unveiling of a New Store Design