Over the past few weeks, increasingly stringent “shelter in place” orders from state governors sent some people to the grocery store in search of milk and toilet paper. The impending lockdown sent others to the liquor store to stock up on enough beer, wine, and spirits to last through the remaining weeks (months?) of the quarantine. According to the owner of Riverside Liquors in Frederick, Maryland, the store racked up more than $10,000-worth of sales in just one hour following Governor Larry Hogan’s most recent shelter-in-place order.
Now that all non-essential businesses are closed down indefinitely in 30 of the 50 states, Riverside is just one of many bar owners and restauranteurs wondering how to weather the steep decline in business resulting from this lockdown. But this is a glimmer of hope: you may be able to glom onto some emerging and accelerating trends in the liquor sales arena that could provide relief now— and increased business in the future.
But first, some background…
As more and more U.S. bars and restaurants are closing to in-house patrons to curb the spread of coronavirus, Americans are opting for alternative ways of filling their larders with their liquors of choice. For example, Drizly, an on-demand alcohol delivery app that partners with local retailers to bring beer, wine, and liquor to users’ doorsteps, reports a 300% increase in sales during the month of March. Other alcohol delivery platforms, including Saucey, GetSwill, and MiniBar are also reporting meteoric rises in business since the onset of the global pandemic.
Drizly also says that their average order within their 100+ markets in 26 states and Washington, DC during this age of social-distancing is up by 20%. These sales, says the company, are mostly driven by new customers. In fact, clients who had never used the service before accounted for more than 40% of this spike in sales, as compared to the company’s typical 15% monthly rise in new customers under normal circumstances.
You will need to check into your state’s required permits and licenses for off-site delivery, but you may be able to partner with Drizly or another booze delivery service to keep your revenue stream going over the next few months. Many states have temporarily relaxed the existing policies that typically make it difficult for businesses to break into the alcohol delivery space during the pandemic. Remember that Drizly and similar apps can only deliver the beer, wine, and spirits they have a steady supply source for— so if regulations in your area allow, make the call. It’s worth checking into.
With more options than ever before in the booming alcohol delivery space, customers can order booze for home delivery in just a few clicks. It’s convenient, user-friendly, and stress-free— a trend that’s likely to continue long after the bans on social interaction are lifted and customers return to normal routines.