TILTON — The state’s Liquor Commission has opened 30 new or renovated liquor stores in the past seven years, part of an effort to increase profits for the state. Earlier this week, the commission announced that Tilton would join the long list of towns to receive a new state liquor and wine outlet.
The Tilton store will be built on land just west of I-93’s Exit 20, on land owned by Market Basket, filling an undeveloped piece of property between the supermarket, a Northway Bank branch and a Wal-Mart.
Construction on the site will begin this summer, and the commission expects to open its new store – which will include 12,000 square feet of space and offer more than 3,600 products – in September, 2020.
The Tilton store will closely resemble an outlet that opened two years ago in Warner, which features a wooden post-and-beam facade.
The state’s liquor and wine sales have been turning a profit, but not as much as lawmakers were hoping for. According to the commission’s annual report for Fiscal Year 2018, the state agency realized a record-setting revenue of $219.2 million last year, an 11% increase over revenue from 2014. However, expenses had also increased, from $47.9 million in 2014 to $62.1 million last year, which took a big bite out of the gains in profit.
The Liquor Commission stated in its announcement that it expects the Tilton store, positioned adjacent to two busy retailers and near the Tanger Outlets, will generate $7 million in yearly sales.
“NHLC is pleased to announce plans for our first NH Liquor and Wine Outlet in Tilton,” said Joseph Mollica, liquor commission chairman. “This is the ideal location to capitalize on the popularity and abundance of retail shopping opportunities and accessibility to both residents and the traveling public. This site will help maximize our exposure alongside prominent regional and national brands, while fulfilling our obligations to maximize revenue for the New Hampshire General Fund, which funds critical services in education, health and social services, transportation and natural resource protection.”
In addition to the Tilton store, the liquor commission is constructing new stores in West Lebanon and on the city line between Dover and Somersworth.
This won’t be the first time that the liquor commission and Market Basket have done business together.
“Market Basket is pleased to partner with the NHLC to bring this new store to Tilton. In recent years, Market Basket has developed new state-of-the-art NH Liquor and Wine Outlets in Warner, Seabrook and Londonderry,” said David McLean, operations manager for Market Basket.
Plans for the Tilton outlet call for energy-efficient lighting, kiosks for browsing inventory and food pairings, wine vaults that control temperature and humidity, special sections for premium and ultra-premium spirits as well as “Price Busters” and “Wine Power Buy” displays.