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Oregon Liquor Store Sales Go Up During Pandemic

Chris Lehman

Liquor store sales set an all-time record for the month of March in Oregon. Regulators say the spike in sales is related to the coronarivrus outbreak.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission says Oregonians aren’t necessarily drinking more alcohol. Instead, social distancing measures have shifted people to consume their favorite beverages at home, instead of at bars and restaurants.

The OLCC says liquor stores sold $66 million in distilled spirits in March. That’s a 20 percent increase in sales over last March, and a new record for the month.

That’s offset by a 53 percent drop in liquor revenue from bars and restaurants over the previous March. Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered all on-site dining options closed on March 16 as a strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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