Do you want to start a liquor store in a big way? If you want to get into the business in a really big way, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has put all 167 of their state owned liquor stores up for auction. According to the state, the 167 stores do $888 million in annual sales with a 14 percent profit on net sales.
Bids may be placed on one or multiple stores. There will also be an option for a bidder to make a single offer on the entire store network. This would secure the exclusive rights associated with all 167 state store locations. This simultaneous auction approach accomplishes multiple objectives. It lends itself to small entrepreneurs as well as larger entities that may have interest in this unique business opportunity. Additionally, it optimizes the opportunity to obtain maximum reasonable value for the assets being sold. Finally, the simultaneous approach allows for this to be completed within the tight timelines that were required by law.
You’re not actually bidding on the physical stores, though, so you’ll need to find a place to them.
A successful bidder owns the exclusive rights to apply for a spirit retail license associated with the location of the former state liquor store in its current footprint. This is a special right that allows those who are separately licensed to sell liquor at a retail location that is less than 10,000 ft2. By law, this is a special exception that has been granted on a very limited basis. In addition, the owner of the rights may establish a liquor retail business at the original state liquor store location without challenge by the local jurisdiction. This right may be sold or transferred at anytime.
The current high bid, as of this posting for all 167 locations is $550,100,00. Do I hear $550,200,000? If one store is more your speed, the current high bid for store number one, in Seattle, is $36,700.