Liquor sales in Virginia soar amid coronavirus pandemic

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginians spent more than $200 million on booze over the last two months, according to figures from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, an increase of $30 million in sales from the previous year. The numbers make one thing clear: purchases have soared since social distancing guidelines were implemented in the commonwealth.

The restrictions Gov. Ralph Northam imposed in response to COVID-19 has prompted an increase in online ordering. Data from Virginia ABC shows that on April 14, 2020, there were 476 online orders, which is a 15,767% increase from 2019 when there were only three orders online.

While sales have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, business from licensees such as restaurants have dropped significantly.

“The challenges these businesses are facing in light of concerns about COVID-19 has resulted in a reduction of spirits sales to these businesses. Licensees typically make approximately 17-18% of Virginia ABC’s spirits sales, but from March 15-May 2, this has varied from 2.5% to 0%,” Dawn Eischen, a spokeswoman for Virginia ABC, told 8News Friday, “with all of Virginia ABC’s sales increases coming from retail customers taking spirits home, also known as off premises consumption.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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