Coronavirus-hit NYC sees online alcohol sales thrive

Amazon and FreshDirect have had issues delivering groceries, but online booze sales have spiked

As big businesses around the country shut their doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller group of stores is booming in New York City. Many of them sell booze online.

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Online alcohol brand Drizly’s said it had its best day ever in terms of sales was Sunday. The sales beat orders for New Year’s Eve and Halloween, “which are usually our most popular days,” a representative for the company told the New York Post. At Minibar Delivery, on the other hand, sales were up 80 percent week-over-week compared to the previous Thursday.

“As people start to social distance,” Minibar Delivery co-founder and CEO, Lindsey Andrews, told the Post, “they are stocking up on all things including alcohol.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week updated its national virus guidance to recommend against gatherings of 50 or more people for at least the next eight weeks. In the Big Apple on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that starting at 8 p.m., there would be no congregating around any bars or restaurants in the city altogether.

Fears of virus spreading unchecked and increased social-distancing have driven many consumers online. And even though some brands, like Amazon and FreshDirect, have had technical issues as people try to order groceries for delivery, online booze sales in New York have been fine.

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Booze isn’t the only thing thriving as the outbreak locks down major cities. Local bodegas and car rental firms are having sales spikes as well, as residents are looking stock up on items they couldn’t find in big-box stores or visit family while people are working remotely.

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“I’m not going to lie, sales are way up, like when a snowstorm hits,” Matthew Walters, owner of Douglaston Deli in Queens told the Post. “I got a bread delivery at 7 a.m. this morning. Two hours later, it’s all gone! Cold cuts, milk, eggs, just disappearing!”

Car rental spots around the city report more customers as well.

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