By Al Hebert
CROWLEY, La.–The COVID-19 pandemic has changed not only how we live but also how we do business. Delivery of everything from groceries to full-course meals is the norm. Louisiana c-store chain ShopRite started looking into the delivery of beer, wine and spirits in December 2019.
Ralph Cupper, director of beverage sales and marketing, likes doing things differently. He thought customers would welcome the delivery of adult beverages. “I’ve always been adventurous. I read a lot of articles. I’d heard of Drizly, but the state of Louisiana didn’t allow delivery,” Cupper said.
When laws changed, Cupper applied to be licensed for delivery. “I downloaded the app and saw how it worked. They’re No. 1 in the Industry,” he said.
Drizly is an app that makes things simple for everyone. “It’s unique, because the app keeps all the records,” he said. The first store was delivering in December, and more continue to roll out.
Drizly launched in 2012 and is the nation’s first and largest alcohol e-commerce marketplace, working with more than 2,000 retail partners in 180+ markets throughout the United States and Canada. ShopRite and Tobacco Plus joined with Drizly in 2019 and launched it in the Lafayette location. This was the first such partnership in the Bayou State.
“Through our network of retail partners we are able to offer the widest selection of beer, wine and spirits, with full price transparency and delivery in under 60 minutes through Drizly.com or the Drizly app. All sales and deliveries are made by partner retailers in their respective markets,” explained Kyle Glenn, retail operations account executive.
Drizly and its partners have been busy during the pandemic. Glenn said. “We had our biggest day ever this past Friday, March 20. To a very large extent, this was driven by new customers who accounted for 41% of orders. This is usually closer to 15%. Our new buyers for the past several days have been around 1,000% higher than last year.”
“We get quite a few orders per day, and we don’t have a normal yet. We’re having fun with it,” ShopRite’s Cupper said, adding, “There’s a $4.99 delivery fee with a $30 minimum, this covers our expenses.”
Al Hebert is the Gas Station Gourmet and showcases America’s culinary treasure—gas station cuisine. He shares these stories and on occasion, a recipe or two at www.GasStationGourmet.com. He is a NACS Magazine contributor, bringing foodservice ideas to readers.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.