These are trying times for many businesses around Connecticut, but liquor stores may be feeling the opposite effect. According to recent research, alcohol sales have jumped dramatically.
While there’s no conclusive evidence that people are turning to alcohol to cope with the pandemic situation, people are buying it. According to Nielsen research numbers, U.S. alcohol sales rose 55% in the week ending March 21.
“Last week was almost like Christmas Holiday season levels for a span of about four or five days,” said Joey Jacobsen, owner of Manchester Wine & Liquors.
Jacobsen says he believes people were preparing for the possibility liquor stores would be deemed non-essential.
“They’re just stocking up,” he said. “You know, we’re not dealing with any toilet paper situation. The supply line in alcohol is very solid.”
With last week’s sales leap, liquor led the way. The sales of spirits - like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails were up 75% compared to this time last year, according to Neilsen. Wine and beer sales were up significantly as well.
Not only did people pack the stores last week, they’re ordering online in record numbers. Online alcohol sales were up 243%.
Wednesday in Manchester people were ordering ahead and getting curbside service.
“Sometimes there’s other people standing at the counter and whatnot. I just figured it’s a little bit safer,” said Doug Wootten who had his order delivered straight to his car.
While there’s no proven explanation of why alcohol sales were way up last week, one customer we spoke with has a theory.
“To drown their sorrows maybe. Or being afraid. This is scary,” said Paul Buettner of Manchester.
As for this week, Manchester Wine and Liquors says things have definitely leveled off and they are not seeing the type of sales they saw a week ago.