Whether it’s picking up your favorite cocktail staple or looking for something different to try at your next party, Virginia ABC’s newest premier store at 506 Fort Evans Road N.E. in Leesburg has been designed to deliver a more robust shopping experience. The second of ABC’s premier stores to be unveiled this year, the Leesburg store will celebrate its opening on Wednesday, July 9, with ABC Chairman Jeffrey L. Painter and Commissioner Judy Napier, Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd and members of the Virginia General Assembly in attendance.
From the warm wood finishes of its Virginia wine and gift section to the unique metal fixtures in its vestibule, the store is evocative of its hunt country surroundings. Intimate shopping areas carved out of the space by varying ceiling heights and strategic, state-of-the-art LED lighting set the new layout and design apart from traditional ABC stores.
The Leesburg store employs a new retail concept that draws customers into the space’s unique winding center aisle and encourages them to discover products they might not have known about, without forsaking the ease of identifying favorite brands shoppers have come to expect in an ABC store. With the exception of ABC’s consistently wide selection of products and its friendly and informed sales staff, customers in the premier store will recognize little resembling their usual Virginia ABC shopping experience.
“We are excited to be able to offer customers this unique shopping experience,” said Wilson Jones, director of Virginia ABC’s Retail Division. “The new store has been designed to make shopping for distilled spirits and Virginia wines more welcoming and enjoyable.”
The premier store design incorporates retail space planning techniques that lead customers through the store with inlay flooring patterns that further define the unique architectural nuances, lighting and product displays. The store’s vestibule is dominated by a metal chandelier created by Richmond artist Robert Chase of Chase Architectural Metal. Festooned with bottles, the chandelier is suspended over a round tasting bar where vendors are invited to periodically conduct half-ounce tastings of their products. A centrally located customer service center will provide easy access to product information.
“The new premier store in Leesburg underscores our commitment to providing excellent customer service and is representative of Virginia ABC’s growing retail division, which this year has already added six stores and remodeled five,” said Painter. “The agency has a proud record of efficiently serving the commonwealth, and we look forward to a strong future.”
Virginia ABC ultimately plans to 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 new Leesburg store and the premier Williamsburg store that opened in March, immediate plans include remodeling the Virginia Beach store at 1612 Laskin Rd. later this year.
The Leesburg store measures 4,576 square feet and is one of the commonwealth’s largest stores. The average square footage of a Virginia ABC store is 3,169. Sixty-five percent of the space will be used for retail with the remaining 35 percent set aside for stock.
The store opening is set for 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, and will include brief remarks, a ribbon cutting, photos and informal store tours followed by refreshments at 11 a.m. and a (non-alcoholic) gift for the first 80 customers in honor of Virginia ABC’s 80th anniversary. The public is encouraged to attend.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 349 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 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.
Virginia ABC’s Newest Premier Store in Leesburg Boasts Innovative Design, Unique Features