The coronavirus, or as it’s commonly known now as COVID-19, continues to change the way Americans do business and live their daily lives. From forcing families to work and learn from home while they shelter in place, to business distributions, to the impact on the stock market, we are all facing new and unprecedented challenges. The liquor industry is no exception. Across America, restaurants and bars have been ordered to close, can offer carry-out service only, or have been forced to restrict the number of patrons allowed on their premises. Retailers, on the other hand, have seen their shelves stripped bare as customers fill their carts and stock up on everything from toilet paper and cleaning supplies to alcoholic beverages.    This month’s article will discuss many of the issues impacting the liquor industry in the wake of COVID-19.

Retailers were one of the first businesses impacted by COVID-19. Panicked consumers flocked to grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and big-box stores and cleaned out the shelves, leaving little to nothing left for the consumers that followed. As these stores attempted to keep up with demand, many were forced to limit store hours to allow for restocking and cleaning of stores. Others have restricted the number of shoppers allowed in the store at one time in order to try to control the spread of the virus, creating long lines and frustrated shoppers. But, after stocking up on essentials, it appears that shoppers have turned their attention to spirits. Across the country, shoppers have begun to stock up on beer, wine and spirits driving up sales tremendously in comparison to this time last year. Unfortunately, the high demand for spirits is likely to be very short-lived.

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