SEATTLE - Customers heading to their local liquor store might find it closed on Thursday.
Fourteen locations around the state are shutting down as Washington transitions to private ownership.
So many employees have left for other jobs while the state makes the transition to privatization that there is now a shortage of employees at the busiest stores. Closing 14 stores around the state will free up 60 workers to move to stores where they are needed.
This transition has also affected inventory at many stores and will soon change the way surrounding businesses get their stock.
“They’re going to have to order from the distributors. They can come in and buy up to three cases at a time,” said liquor store employee Mary Harden.
The four stores that are closing in Seattle on Thursday are Magnolia, Second and Seneca, Boulevard Park and 15th Avenue Northeast.
The closures may be temporary, depending on what the private owners do when they take over.