How Amazon Could Disrupt the Booze Industry


In recent months, Amazon has started to expand its booze delivery services to more cities (covered on here). However, restrictions on mailing alcohol as well as a bevy of state and local laws make such a service difficult. CNBC has an article on Amazon's foray into the alcohol world--and how Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods could play a role:

"Alcohol has been mostly out of grasp for Amazon — until recently. Even with a network as vast and complex as Amazon, the logistics of shipping booze is somewhat nightmarish.

Intoxicating liquor can't be mailed in the U.S., and services like FedEx have strict requirements for delivery. Then there are individual state mandates on both shipping and retailing, not to mention the need to check the ID of every purchaser.

But at the end of August, Amazon quietly expanded the cities included in the alcohol delivery service through Prime Now, one of its subscriber services that mainly delivers groceries...

Amazon's acquisition of natural grocer Whole Foods gives it physical locations that could help it realize its 'strong interest in home delivery of beer,' MillerCoors wrote in a blog post about the merger. It could, for instance, allow consumers to 'click and collect' their beer at a local Whole Foods..."

Read the rest here.

In a similar vein, The Drinks Business also recently ran an article on Amazon and alcohol:

According to CNBC, online booze sales had been “Amazon proof” due to the complexity of the regulations surrounding online alcohol sales and delivery, but this was set to change following the company’s acquisition of around 450 Whole Food stores across the US, more than half of which sell wine and beer.

The surprise $13.7 billion (£10.7 billion) deal in which Amazon announced its intention to buy the organic food and drink specialist was first announced in June, with analysts on both side of the pond calling it a ‘wake-up call” for retailers across the US and UK. It is widely anticipated that Amazon will boost its click and collect service so that customer can pick up beer and wine sales at Whole Foods’ stores, and the online giant has also quietly expanded the cities covered by Amazon Prime for beer and wine delivery...

More here.