Pennsylvania to use liquor stores for online fulfillment

Regional News

FILE – In this June 16, 2016, file photo, bottles of wine are displayed during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. According to federal health statistics, Americans are drinking more now than when Prohibition was enacted a century earlier. What’s more, it’s been rising for two decades, and it’s not clear when it will fall again. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s liquor agency says workers will be back on the job at more than 100 shuttered state-owned liquor stores to help process online orders.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s office gave the OK to reopen 106 of the state system’s 600 stores for online fulfillment but not for public retail sales.

The store closings have been a source of widespread complaints, especially since the state’s online ordering system has been unable to meet overwhelming customer demand in a state where the liquor board controls the overwhelming majority of retail sales of hard alcohol.

“After ramping up 46 additional Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers in the last few days and aiming to have 121 fulfillment centers picking and packing e-commerce orders this weekend, we’ve made significant progress in improving service to Pennsylvania consumers seeking access to wines and spirits,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden. “Today, we’re accepting 6,500 orders through our website, an 850 percent increase since April 1, when limited e-commerce sales resumed, and a 261 percent increase over the 1,800 orders we had been consistently accepting each day for a number of days.”

As order fulfillment capacity increases, the PLCB will continue increasing the number of orders it takes each day, expecting to be able to accept 10,000 or more orders daily in coming days.

Daily sales since resumed limited operations April 1 through Wednesday, April 15, are detailed below. For context, e-commerce sales in all of fiscal year 2018-19 totaled about 39,000 orders and $5 million dollars. The PLCB expects e-comm sales to exceed those annual records as early as next week, just considering sales since April 1.

Wednesday, April 1, 20206843,267$58,713
Thursday, April 2, 20209074,475$81,999
Friday, April 3, 20201,1005,533$100,960
Saturday, April 4, 20201,0685,453$97,900
Sunday, April 5, 20205082,534$46,039
Monday, April 6, 20201,7058,616$154,590
Tuesday, April 7, 20201,8069,060$167,465
Wednesday, April 8, 20201,8129,205$174,581
Thursday, April 9, 20201,8079,295$175,294
Friday, April 10, 20201,8159,376$174,132
Saturday, April 11, 20201,8059,400$174,235
Sunday, April 12, 2020212$330
Monday, April 13, 20201,8069,376$177,854
Tuesday, April 14, 20201,8059,269$175,940
Wednesday, April 15, 20204,40822,809$427,548

All PLCB locations remain closed to the public and are using limited staff, a combination of PLCB employees and contractors, to process e-commerce orders. Beginning April 1, three fulfillment centers supported e-commerce operations, and 46 additional facilities have been brought into operation in recent days. On Friday, 26 more fulfillment facilities will be added, with the balance of the 121 total locations expected to be operational this weekend.

The 121 fulfillment facilities anticipated to be operational by this weekend are located in the following counties: 1 in Adams, 18 in Allegheny, 2 in Berks, 1 in Blair, 9 in Bucks, 1 in Butler, 2 in Centre, 10 in Chester, 1 in Clearfield, 1 in Crawford, 4 in Cumberland, 4 in Dauphin, 10 in Delaware, 1 in Erie, 1 in Franklin, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Lackawanna, 4 in Lancaster, 4 in Lehigh, 1 in Luzerne, 1 in Lycoming, 2 in Monroe, 17 in Montgomery, 3 in Northampton, 11 in Philadelphia, 1 in Union, 1 in Washington, 1 in Wayne, 3 in Westmoreland, and 4 in York.

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