PORTSMOUTH — The New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet in Portsmouth lost $100,000 worth of wine four months ago, a loss that was publicly acknowledged only recently.
The Attorney General’s office is still investigating how 300 boxes of wine went missing from the liquor store, but according to WMUR, the loss represents only a small fraction of the state’s liquor business.
WMUR’s investigative team looked at liquor commission records from January 2011 through March 2012 and found a total of 76,293 bottles of alcohol had gone missing from New Hampshire state liquor stores in this 15-month period, an $800,000 value. At the same time, sales hit $417 million. WMUR reports that commissioners expect to hit $600 million by the end of the year.
According to the report last week, the Liquor Commission only loses one-half of 1 percent of its product due to damage, shoplifting, employee theft or inventory errors. Each retail business, according to the report, factors in this “shrinkage,” the terminology they use to describe state-owned alcohol that is unaccounted for due to various reasons.
Two New Hampshire stores that are commonly placed in the top 10 stores losing alcohol were Hampton and Hooksett. WMUR reported Hampton losing 8,788 bottles of wine or spirits, totaling $136,000 during the fifteen month period, and Hooksett with 7,924 bottles missing, with $73,000 in losses.