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Nearly one month after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf decided to close state-run liquor stores during the coronavirus pandemic, the Commonwealth has rolled out another option to try to meet more of customers’ pent-up demand.
Some stores will start offering a curbside pickup option on Monday.
Here are the details released by the state on Saturday:
- Each store will take a limited number of orders by phone from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the store reaches the maximum number of orders it can fulfill that day
- They will operate Monday through Saturday
- Curbside pickup orders will be limited to one order of no more than six bottles
- Only one order will be accepted per caller, per store, per day
- Callers will be guided by store staff through products available to purchase at each location
- Payment by credit card will be required by phone, and all curbside pickup sales are final (no returns)
For a complete list of which stores are offering curbside service, click here.
According to Fine Wine & Good Spirits: Stores are “making strides in expanding service to our customers. We ask you to remain patient if you don’t get through by phone right away. We’re optimistic our capacity to fulfill orders through our website and curbside pickup will increase in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.”
Participating stores include four each in Cumberland, Dauphin, and York counties, and three in Lancaster County. When the curbside option starts Monday, online sales also will continue.
Many residents had been frustrated by the extremely limited capacity of the online portal, where just a fraction of customers could place orders.
In the second full week of online sales, only 10,852 customers out of the nearly 1.2 million visitors to the website were able to place an order. The PLCB racked up over $1 million in sales in that week, which is a fraction of the nearly $30 million in sales to all customers on March 16 alone, the day the governor announced the statewide closure of stores taking effect the next day.
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell recently said the agency expects to have 121 facilities operating around the state to pick and pack online orders by this weekend.
The number of stores offering curbside pickup in other counties include:
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, 10 in Delaware, 1 in Erie, 1 in Franklin, 1 in Indiana, 1 in Lackawanna, 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, and 3 in Westmoreland.
About 4,550 of the liquor system’s 5,000 employees had to use accrued paid leave or go on unpaid leave, as of last Friday. Brassell said hundreds of them will be brought back to work to help fill orders.
Brassell reiterated that state-owned wine and liquor stores would not be re-opening to the public “although we continue to monitor the situation in consultation with the Wolf Administration and public health officials.”
The governor has placed Pennsylvania under at stay-at-home order through the end of the month. When he called for a closure of state-run liquor stores on March 17, many Pennsylvanians began to frequent liquor stores in neighboring states.
West Virginia and Ohio have cut off liquor sales to Pennsylvanians in counties that share a border with the commonwealth.
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