Beer & wine delivery to homes: local businesses divided

Beer and wine delivery bill discussed today

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - if you don't want to go out to get your groceries, you can have them delivered through stores or apps like Shipt and Instacart! But soon you could add beer or wine to that list as well.

Today lawmakers will discuss a bill which would allow businesses to deliver wine, or hire another business to do it for them.
Today lawmakers will discuss a bill which would allow businesses to deliver wine, or hire another business to do it for them. (Source: WAFF)

If House Bill 407 passes, businesses will be able to apply for a license from the state. With that license they could deliver beer or wine to their customers themselves. Or they could hire a third party service to do it.

We talked with the owner of Uncorked Wine Shop & Tasting Room in Providence. Saranne Riccio tells us well she thinks this is great for customers, it’s not for some small business owners like herself.

Right now she just sells wine from her store. She’s concerned this bill would mean extra expenses for her to stay competitive. For example, hiring new employees to deliver the wine and more insurance costs for the vehicles.

“If I’m in a situation where if every other shop in town is delivering I’m going to be forced to do the same thing to keep up. So when you think about licensing to allow for delivery, additional staffing that would be necessary. I think for a small independent wine shop, there's a lot of questions to be answered. definitely have the potential to negatively impact our business down the road,” Riccio said.

But other local businesses are on board.

GrubSouth’s business model is already a delivery service, so of course being able to deliver beer and wine could only increase their sales.

Beer and wine delivery bill under discussion

GrubSouth started in 2011 working with nine restaurants. You can now order from around 700 restaurants in North Alabama. So if you’re ordering a pizza on the app, you could add a bottle of wine at checkout.

GrubSouth business development director, Madeline Sandlin tells me they would love to see the bill passed. And she says it would benefit more than just their bottom line.

"I think it not only would increase our sales, but it would increase local restaurants' visibility as well. In addition it's something we ultimately think would prevent more DUIs from happening and hopefully save lives. We'll take action in any way we can to propel it forward,” Sandlin said.

Wednesday lawmakers from the committee on Economic Development and Tourism are scheduled to read the bill. We will of course give you the First Alert when a decision has been made.

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