The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board resumed limited sales online Wednesday accepting a controlled number of daily orders with plans to increase order capacity as fulfillment capacity increases it was announced.
Customers will be limited to purchasing up to six bottles per transaction from a reduced catalogue of about 1,000 top-selling wines and spirits, according to the states liquor authority
All orders must be shipped to home or non-store addresses, and only one order per address will be filled daily officials said.
“We understand the public wants to have access to wines and spirits during these unprecedented times, but we have a responsibility to mitigate community spread of this virus to every extent possible and make sure our employees and our customers are as safe as they can be,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden.
Outlets were originally shut down last month in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We believe that re-opening in a controlled manner will allow us to provide access to consumers while also protecting our employees and consumers from unnecessary risk,” Holden said.
On Thursday morning the website was already receiving “overwhelming demand” a message read.
Order access will be randomized to avoid overwhelming the site with high traffic, prevent order abuse and prolong access throughout the day, so that order availability isn’t exhausted in seconds or minutes each day, a statement from the authority reads.
“We expect consumer interest and site traffic to exceed what we’ll be able to fulfill, at least initially, so we ask that customers be patient and understand that the PLCB Is doing the best it can under extraordinary circumstances to balance consumer demand and public health,” said Holden.
The PLCB will be fulfilling orders from various facilities and is implementing public health best practices like facility sanitation, social distancing, and limiting the numbers of employees working in any facility at a time in an effort to protect its employees. As order fulfillment capacity increases, the PLCB will consider increasing the number of orders it takes each day.
The PLCB is not considering reopening stores at this time, although the agency continues to monitor the situation in consultation with the Wolf Administration and public health officials.
Consumers are reminded that the sale of alcoholic beverages without a license is strictly prohibited under Pennsylvania law.
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates nearly 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers according to state data.
Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $18.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services, officials said.
The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state.