07/29/10 — Fremont ABC to close July 31

View Archive

Fremont ABC to close July 31

By Laura Collins
Published in News on July 29, 2010 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The ABC store in Fremont will officially close at the end of this month.

Mike Myrick, president of the Wayne County ABC board of directors, said the board voted in June to close the Fremont store due to lack of business.

"About a year and a half ago we were considering closing it, then we dropped it down to open three days a week instead and cut down our staff to one person and we still couldn't justify the sales," he said. "It just was not turning a profit for 10 of the last 12 months."

Myrick said the problem with the sales started after there were two robberies at the store in April 2006.

"When we had the back-to-back robberies out there the sales dropped 30 to 35 percent and never came back," he said.

Myrick said the store is making about $18,000 each month, which is what a Goldsboro location makes in two to three nights.

But Fremont Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie doesn't fully agree that the store isn't bringing in a profit.

"They say they're not making a profit, but every six months they bring us our percentage of the profit," he said. "I can't quite figure that out if there's no profit being made."

McDuffie said the town receives about $2,500-$3,000 annually from the store, which goes into the town's general fund.

"The loss of revenue won't dramatically affect the town, but it will hurt a little bit. More than anything else, it's going to hurt the other businesses," he said. "And it's a concern that we're going to have another empty store front in town."

McDuffie said people come to Fremont to shop at the ABC store and will also stop by other businesses while they're in town.

"And it's an inconvenience for our citizens and the people around Fremont," McDuffie said.

He added that it's likely that closing the Fremont store will hurt the county ABC sales since the next closest store for Fremont residents isn't in Wayne County. It's the Kenly store in Johnston County.

But Myrick disagreed, based on the sales the ABC board sees during the four days each week that the Fremont ABC store is closed.

"We know for a fact that when (the Fremont store is closed) we get more business in our store downtown (in Goldsboro)," Myrick said.

Myrick added that the ABC board hopes to open another store in the future to serve the northern part of the county. The employee at the Fremont store will be absorbed into another store, Myrick said.

As for the Fremont ABC building, McDuffie said it's up to the ABC board to figure out what to do with it.

"They asked the Fremont Board (of Aldermen) to make an offer on it. But after our discussion we had the other night, the town right now doesn't want to put an offer," he said.