Some local ABC stores changing hours due to COVID-related labor shortages

CHARLOTTE — The Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board said it’s changing its retail store hours, starting Jan. 10, because of COVID-related staffing challenges.

The ABC Board’s 29 locations will now open at 12:30 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. Hours for permitted businesses, such as bars and clubs, will remain unchanged.

CEO Keva Walton said the ABC board is committed to protecting the health of its employees.

“The modified store hours enables the board to avoid store closures. We will continue to monitor changing conditions closely and make necessary changes to safely and effectively manage stores to serve our customers,” said Walton.

The Mecklenburg County ABC staff have been dealing with supply chain disruptions and product outages, but officials said they have worked with the North Carolina ABC Commission staff and the state’s distribution warehouse to secure available products.

Until the recent change, retail staff have been working seven days a week to meet the high demand due to the shortages, officials said.

The board said gallons purchased this year to date exceed the previous year by 9.4% and is set to surpass previous levels met in the board’s 75-year history.

The ABC Board’s fiscal year 2022 holiday sales were also up by 16% from last year. Overall sales are up 12% from last year.

The board said product prices across the North Carolina ABC systems have remained consistent during the two-year pandemic.

(WATCH BELOW: ABC officers pay surprise visits to restaurants to ensure COVID compliance)