Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Council OKs Liquor Store

Last night city council decided to OK the transfer of the liquor license from Pick's Liquors to the new American Tap Liquors opening next year on S. Illioins, next to El Grecos's and about 15 yards from Old Town Liquor. While I was happy to see the city step away from past attempts to micromanage business in Carbondale (the decision a couple of years ago to not allow another personal loan office to open up comes to mind) and am glad to see another business open in downtown Carbondale, from a marketing viewpoint, it is not a good location for two reasons:

1. As Navreet Kang pointed out, the clustering effect does not work for all types of products. It works best for shopping goods such as clothing, shoes and cars, hence you typically find businesses selling those products located near each other, as people move from business before making a decision. For liquor, people tend to select a store, then make their purchase from the offerings in that store, rather than going to multiple stores to make a decision.

2. The location is poor for upscale liquors and a "fine dining" establishment such as Gundala plans to put in the back as the businesses, with a few exceptions,  in that area cater heavily to students. The lack of convenient parking weights against it as well.

I hope I am wrong and that both American Tap and Old Town Liquor both thrive, as more business is usually welcome in downtown.

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