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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

Businesses prepare for holiday

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

SIKESTON - While many businesses are closing out the year and looking over ending sales figures, a few are anticipating their biggest day of the year today.

Bob Ralph Distributing Co., which distributes roughly 70 percent of domestic beer products in the area, typically sees an increase of 25-30 percent for the week of New Year's Eve.

"We put a little extra product into accounts for this week," said Jamie Ralph, manager of Bob Ralph Distributing Co. "For the most part we kind of plan ahead, so the week before we drop off some extra product."

Ralph said they typically see an increase in the more expensive products for New Year's Eve celebrations. "People are willing to spend a little more money for special occasions," Ralph said.

Allen Ruth, manager of Discount Cigarettes in Sikeston, said this time of the year is one of their top sales periods. "We add extra crew and extra security both," he said.

"Most of the business will be on New Year's Eve itself," said Ruth. "There will be a big boost come New Year's Eve."

Ruth also sees higher-priced items such as fine wines being selected, and champagnes and bubblies do particularly well on the last day of the year. "That's the only time people really buy them is for New Year's," he said.

In addition to alcoholic beverages, sales also increase in the tobacco products. "They usually go hand in hand -I'm sure our cigarettes will have a slight increase but the biggest increase will be in the liquor and beer itself."

Extra security is a precaution many alcohol related business take. "You get the good with the bad - most of the customers we've got right now are pretty stable but you will have a lot of people who have already started imbibing," Ruth said. "We're firm believers in carding people and not serving people who are obviously intoxicated."

Ruth said while some who get refused get upset, they stand firm: "We won't sell to anyone like that."

Many establishments that serve alcohol have parties planned, even if they are usually more food oriented.

"We're more of restaurant now than we are anything else anymore," said Bobbie Freeman, manager at Cheer's Bar and Grill, which will see its second New Year celebration at its present location this year. "I think we did pretty good last year."

Like many taverns and bars, Cheers will feature entertainment as part of its celebration.

"This year we have a band and special menu for the night," said Freeman. "We're hoping it will be good and that we'll be busy."