Amazon, Inc. has been changing the retail industry for years, both globally and here in Ohio. Grocery, convenience, and liquor stores in these areas soon may experience the same type of disruption as Amazon swiftly marches into the alcoholic beverage retail segment that has traditionally been dominated by brick and mortar retailers.
Prime Now, LLC, an Amazon affiliate known for making free two-hour deliveries for Amazon Prime members, obtained C-1, C-2, and D-6 liquor permits in Franklin and Hamilton Counties on January 30, 2017, and February 1, 2017. A month later, a separate Amazon affiliate – Amazon Logistics, Inc. – obtained an H liquor permit.
What does this all mean? For consumers in select markets in the Buckeye state, Amazon now can deliver beer, wine, and mixed liquor beverages (with low alcohol content) directly to their doorsteps. For now, those markets are limited to the Columbus and Cincinnati areas. Alcoholic beverage retailers in those markets must now address the reality of a very different type of competitor: an online giant with sophisticated distribution channels. Will they be able to adapt? Stay tuned.