Amazon, the e-commerce giant that has disrupted everything from big-box retailers to bookstores to grocery stores (with its recent Whole Foods acquisition) is now making moves into yet another business – alcohol delivery.
GrubStreet reports that alcohol delivery services (popular pre-existing services include sites such as Klink, Minibar, and Drizly) have often faced barriers to success. This is due to the legal and logistical issues with delivering alcohol door-to-door. USPS will not deliver alcohol; recipients must be carded and restrictions on private beer and liquor sales vary widely from state to state and even city to city.
Amazon, with its extensive cash, distribution network, and influence, may be the company that can truly break into this space, however. Some analysts believe that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods may help them in this endeavor, much like that merger has the potential to transform Amazon’s less-than-successful Fresh grocery delivery service. Amazon already has a limited alcohol delivery service that expanded on September 7 but still largely flies under the radar. Prime members in 12 cities across the country can get alcohol via the Prime Now service. That program offers one-hour delivery for $8 and two-hour delivery for no extra charge.