Liquor stores see boom in business after coronavirus outbreak

BELLEVUE, KY (WKRC)- Micah Dennison has worked at The Party Source for 15 years. He says he’s never seen anything like what’s been going on since the coronavirus outbreak began.

“I hope that we never will again, to be perfectly honest with you. There’s little way to plan for it. There’s little way to forecast what happens next, what steps we need to take moving forward. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Dennison said.

The employees at The Party Source are making sure everyone is safe while they’re purchasing their favorite spirits. They have signs up in several locations reminding people about proper social distancing.

They’re also asking people to call ahead or place orders online and then have an employee bring out the order. They will even deliver your order to you as long as it’s within the I-275 loop in Kentucky.

Dennison says they started noticing a change in the purchases when news of people hoarding toilet paper started spreading.

“The initial rush on grocery stores and, within a day or so, we started to see the uptick. Within two to three days, it was clear people were stocking up,” Dennison said.

He says liquor has been the top-seller recently and has stayed that way so far, then wine and then beer. He says people weren’t just buying anything they could though.

“It wasn’t just a bottle of bourbon that was sold. It was a bottle of bourbon, a jar of cherries, bitters, you know, everything to make that at-home cocktail. So, this was more about lifestyle choices as opposed to just hoarding alcohol,” Dennison said.

It’s not just for drinking enjoyment though. Overproof products like Everclear are sold out. They are more than 90% alcohol.

“I think it was being used as a substitute for hand sanitizer There was no doubt that there was a direct correlation with a lack of hand sanitizer and the uptick in sales of those products,” Dennison said.

You might be wondering why liquor stores are deemed essential during a pandemic. Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says if a business is involved in the food supply chain, they can stay open.

“It’s just very difficult for us to make those determinations [on which should close], and, so, what we’ve done is we’ve left the entire food supply chain open. All of these [liquor] stores, usually most of them are within grocery stores and that’s part of the determination,” Dennison said.

When Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was asked about it during a news conference Monday, he said liquor stores are being allowed to stay open so the state doesn’t change people’s lives too much and because other places were leaving them open too.

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