Government-controlled liquor stores in Pennsylvania had processed about 25,000 orders by Wednesday since offering booze to thirsty consumers via curbside pickup this week.
Liquor stores were not deemed as providing a “life-sustaining” product when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf locked down consumer services amid the coronavirus crisis in the Quaker State. But the governor first allowed home delivery and then decided to reopen 176 liquor stores Monday for curbside pickup delivery. Sales hit $2.3 million in the first three days, Fox News reported Friday.
Home delivery of liquor was plagued by a government website that kept crashing due to the high volume of requests, NBC’s affiliate in Philadelphia noted. (RELATED: Alcohol Sales Increase 55% In America Amid Coronavirus Pandemic)
While people are encouraged to phone in their order (of not more than six bottles at a time), the result can often be a busy signal. According to one report, it took 159 calls for one consumer to deliver his order.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), which regulates the sale of all wine and spirts at government-run liquor stores, opened 176 locations throughout the state on Monday, when customers made 6,000 orders.
The PLCB will expand its curbside delivery next week. “Beginning Monday, we’ll have 565 Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores across Pennsylvania accepting orders by phone for curbside pickup,” PLCB Chairman Tim Holden announced Friday.
“We acknowledge that Pennsylvanians are frustrated with busy signals and want broader access to wine and spirits. So, after learning from our experiences this past week, we’ve made improvements to process orders faster, expand the hours we take orders by phone, and be more flexible in scheduling pickups, even the same day, if pickup appointments are available.” (RELATED: Poll: 39.5% Are Drinking More During Coronavirus Isolation, 24.1% Are Drinking Less)
Patrons first need to find the nearest liquor store that has been reopened and call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to arrange a pickup time. They should also have a credit card ready to pre-pay for their booze.