Liquor Stores Go Mobile

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7:15 AM EDT May 30th, 2014

Many states have pretty strict liquor laws, that some might even call quirky. For instance, in Massachusetts, it’s illegal to have a “happy hour” where drinks are free or reduced in price, Mississippi won’t allow consumers to buy beer with a greater than 5 percent alcohol factor and 29 counties in Kansas still don’t permit the sale of alcohol on the premises. So, it might seem like lunacy to think that anyone might be able to reinvent the liquor business by creating an app that basically lets customers order beer, wine and other spirits online and have it delivered to their doorstep.

But that’s exactly what Drizly has done.

Since 2011, Drizly has been serving the Boston and Chicago markets and will soon expand its services to Manhattan and Brooklyn through participating retailers. Drizly will be the very first to offer a mobile app enabled liquor delivery service in New York City.

“By becoming the first and only app to deliver beer, wine and liquor from a single order, Drizly is officially the most convenient way for legal consumers to buy alcohol in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” said Nick Rellas, founder and CEO of Drizly. “With the best product selection, the best retail delivery network, and the same price as in-store, Drizly gives consumers good reason to never visit the liquor store again.”

Consumers download the Drizly app, register a credit card and verify their age. Using the app, consumers are able to order beer, wine and liquor from local participating retailers in their area. Consumers can then purchase items and even charge the driver’s tip with their account on file. At delivery, the customer will be required to scan their driver’s license in the app so that the purchaser can be verified as being of legal age.

So far there are over 50 stores in Boston alone that are part of the Drizly network and Rellas says that the demand is only growing. Along with expanding its services to New York City, the company also plans to launch its next location on the West Coast. And as a platform, Drizly has the potential to reinvent the relationships between brands and consumers. For probably the first time, liquor brands can have a direct channel with consumers, and target advertising and other promotional considerations to key target audiences.

Take a look at how Rellas and his team is not only helping liquor stores increase sales through the mashup of mobile, apps and payment but how it does this without running afoul of the state liquor laws.



  • Gordn Parx

    This article is wrong about Kansas. There are 13 counties in Kansas that don’t have liquor-by-the-drink. However, that is not by state law. That is because those counties have never voted to change, but could with a simple ballot question. Also, those counties are allowed to have Cereal Malt Beverage, meaning you can drink a beer in every on-premise establishment in every county in Kansas. This information is easy to find on the KS Alcohol Beverage Control website.

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