VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- An Oregon man is getting out of the Washington state liquor business after fees drove up his prices and consumers found cheaper booze in chain stores and across the state line.
Don Sidhu had $2.1 million in investor money that he spent on four former state-run liquor stores privatized after the state switched away from a state-operated liquor system.
The Vancouver Columbian reports customers told Sidhu that they would buy their booze at Oregon's lower-priced, state-operated stores.
Liquor sales in Oregon increased 9.4 percent in October 2012, compared to October 2011. At Oregon's 12 border stores, sales increased by 34 percent.
Compounding the problem is distributors, who in many cases charge smaller stores between 25 percent and 35 percent more than they charge volume discounters like Costco.