- Schnucks will now deliver beer, wine and spirits to of-age customers in Missouri and Illinois in as little as one hour, the company announced. The offering will be available through Instacart, which fulfills online orders for Schnucks customers.
- Alcohol delivery will be available based on local laws, and service fees will apply depending on the size of the order. Customers can get delivery starting at $3.99, with fees ranging from $2 for an order less than $35 to $10 for an order higher than $110.
- "Since we launched Schnucks Delivers more than two years ago, many shoppers have requested that we add their favorite adult beverages to the platform," said Schnucks chief business development and transformation officer Ryan Cuba in a press release.
Alcohol delivery from grocers has been picking up speed, with several companies introducing the option for customers. Last fall, Thrive Market, Kroger and Meijer all introduced their own alcohol delivery programs in various states throughout the U.S., and Publix expanded its alcohol delivery service last summer.
Not only are more grocery stores delivering booze, but they’re also offering quick delivery windows. H-E-B piloted one-hour alcohol delivery last summer, and Amazon pioneered two-hour alcohol delivery a few years ago and continues to add new markets. Schnucks is the latest retailer to feature speedy delivery.
Online alcohol delivery grew by more than 30% in 2017, but numbers for online alcohol sales and delivery in 2018 are not yet being reported. Given the ongoing increase of retailers offering the service, the industry is likely to see another spike in the numbers — and that may lead to yet another push among companies into the space this year.
The ongoing challenge with alcohol delivery is that the laws permitting it differ by state, and within each state there can be local laws that govern delivery in general, as well. This often limits grocers to introducing beer and wine delivery in one or two markets or states at a time, and explains why few retailers can offer it on a broader scale.
Outside of mainstream grocery stores, alcohol delivery is a big business. Direct-to-consumer startup Drizly raised almost $35 million in December, and delivers alcohol nationwide in an hour or less. In a recent interview with Grocery Dive, Drizly CEO Cory Rellas said his company is interested in partnering with grocery retailers. L.A.-based Saucey boasts alcohol delivery in as little as 30 minutes.
Aside from its latest announcement, Schnucks is making strides to become more tech-savvy with shelf-scanning robots and new technology to streamline store operations. The company has also undertaken a re-brand of 19 Shop ‘n Save stores, which it acquired in September.