Wine, beer, hard liquor and other alcohol beverages from 100 retailers are now being sold on Walmart’s Flipkart in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, with West Bengal and Odisha allowing online liquor sales.Flipkart recently roped in HipBar, an alcohol-delivery firm supported by spirits major Diageo, that is currently in the process of scaling up pan-India. “Currently, we have almost 100 retailers on board across Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, and have created about 150 jobs for delivery executives,” said Prashant Adurty, chief operating officer, HipBar.“We will be scaling up in the months to come,” he added.As people were stuck home, ‘omni-channel’ (online-offline) celebrations gained in popularity. “There is a growing trend for online and virtual celebrations on occasions like weddings, engagements, birthdays or simply a family get-together,” Sandeep Karwa, vice-president (Hyperlocal), Flipkart, told The Hindu. “This necessitated the creation of a safe delivery channel for consumers to get not only the essentials but also alcoholic beverages, without having to step out,” he added.But retailer and dealer lobbies in Maharashtra and other States have been opposing online liquor sales. However, slowly, many States, including Karnataka, are likely to join the online liquor sales bandwagon, according to sources.According to industry experts, amid the pandemic, several retailers have been struggling to stay afloat, and some have been able to reinvent their business models and are now willing to sell online if more States are open to it. “Earlier, the retailers didn’t want this to happen, but the lockdown forced them to accept the idea,” said Yatin Patil, president, the All India Wine Producers’ Association, on the economics of online liquor sales.In Maharashtra, the retail lobby is requesting the government not to give permission to Flipkart or Amazon or other online entities to sell liquor as they want undertake home deliveries on their own as online players charge as high as 30% margins. The economics of this model will work only if the logistics cost is justified.’’Overall, consumers may welcome this convenience with open arms. A recent LocalCircles study across 250 districts found that 52% of the respondents voted for online liquor delivery.Amazon and online grocer BigBasket have secured licences to deliver alcohol in West Bengal while Swiggy and Zomato have already started home delivery of alcohol in Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
You have reached your limit for free articles this month.
To get full access, please subscribe.
Already have an account ? Sign in
Show Less Plan
Subscription Benefits Include
Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.
Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.
Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.
A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.
A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.
We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.
*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience.