Liquor sales up 40% in B.C. during COVID-19 scare
VANCOUVER -- Rest assured, there's no shortage of booze in the province, so nobody needs to rush to their local liquor store.
But shoppers are clearly changing the way they buy.
Single beer cans and mickeys aren’t hot sellers at the moment, nor are regular sized bottles of wine. No, lately it’s all about size and quantity.
Sales of cask wine (that’s a fancy way of saying boxed wine) are up 144 per cent. Those big 1.75-litre bottles of vodka, rum and whiskey are being scooped off the shelves 153 per cent faster, and 24 packs of beer 120 per cent.
“So, anything you can buy in a larger volume,” said Viviana Zanocco of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. "Anything that can see people through, so that they don’t have to go out and buy again for a few weeks."
To deal with increased demand as the province deals with COVID-19, Plexiglas glass shields are being installed at tills at BC Liquor Stores. Also, every second register is closed to provide more physical distance between customers and employees. Staff is also limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside at the same time.
“So, it’s just another measure that reinforces physical distancing,” Zanocco explained.
A reminder, BC Liquor Stores will close on Sunday for now.
This will allow staff to give branches a thorough cleaning and time to re-stock shelves.
Zanocco admits it may take time for some popular items to be replenished because of staffing contraints, but she insisted, again, there is plenty of liquor in B.C.
"We do have a lot of it, our supply chain hasn’t been interrupted,” she said.