Princeton is getting an ABC store.
On Wednesday, the state ABC commission approved the store, which will be next to the Dollar General at 9576 U.S. 70 East.
Swade Carroll, general manager of Johnston County’s ABC stores, said the Princeton store is meant to capture traffic that has been going to the ABC store in Goldsboro, in neighboring Wayne County.
“I’ve probably been looking for a location out on 70 East for about a year,” he said.
Johnston County ABC stores divide their profit between the county and its towns, essentially on a per-capita basis. The Princeton store will capture the money going to Wayne County and keep the revenue in Johnston, Carroll said.
The location – on the south side of U.S. 70 – is meant also to capture summer beach traffic, Carroll said. The parking lot is large enough for vehicles towing boats to park easily. The closest ABC store in the county is in Selma, about 10 miles away.
The ABC board will lease the building, which a contractor will build next door to Princeton’s Dollar General store. The owner of the Dollar General building will also own the ABC store building. Carroll said he is hopeful the store will be open by the holidays, though construction could take longer.
Carroll said he expects the Princeton store to produce about $600,000 a year in sales. He said an ABC store’s sales depend largely on location and can range from $400,000 to $2 million a year.
The store will bring at least two full-time jobs and perhaps two part-time to Princeton, said Carroll, who is still working out the staffing details.
In advance of the store’s approval, the Johnston ABC board posted a sign in the location to notify Princeton residents of the proposal. The board heard nothing, Carroll said.
“It’s been really strange,” he said. “We have not taken the first call, and the sign has been up 30 days, which, by my statutes, I’m required to do.”
Mayor Donald Rains said the community’s reaction has been neutral.
“ABC Stores have been a part of Johnston County for many years, as well as neighboring counties,” he said, adding that the store will bring jobs to Princeton.