The Last Frontier: The Online Economy and Booze


You can get online delivery of almost every product under the sun these days, but booze remains a stubborn exception. In Forbes, R Street's Jarrett Dieterle takes a look at what's stopping the on-demand and online economy from fully extending to the alcohol industry:

Alcohol chain retailer Total Wine & More recently announced a partnership with the app Minibar Delivery to launch an on-demand booze delivery system in Arlington, Virginia. The service, which includes free two-hour delivery, contained a notable exception: no hard spirits. Amazon Prime likewise started delivering beer and wine last month in Portland, Oregon. But again, the service did not include hard spirits.

Beltway millennials and Portlandian hipsters may be left wondering why their on-demand experience is being restricted in a way that seems so totally arbitrary. The answer is outdated alcohol laws that need updating...

The good news is that there’s hope. Evidence suggests that millennials prefer online shopping to the brick-and-mortar alternative, and many younger Americans have grown accustomed to having the world at their fingertips. It’s unlikely that a young mom hosting a weeknight barbeque in Portland will be sympathetic to rules that say she can have extra hamburgers delivered to her house in under an hour, but not a spare bottle of rum to add to the punch. Likewise, a recent college graduate working in Arizona’s solar fields may wonder why she’s unable to have her favorite small batch Kentucky bourbon delivered to her door within two days, just like the rest of her purchases...

Read the whole piece here.