Are you thirsty Twin Cities?
A lot of companies seem to think so. The number of alcohol delivery options in the Twin Cities has grown by at least two in the last week.
The newest addition to the roster is Instacart, the San Francisco-based firm that began delivering groceries to the Twin Cities last year from places like Target, Cub Foods, Costco and Whole Foods. Now it has partnered with Total Wine & More, a nationwide chain that has opened several stores in the Twin Cities in the last two years, as well as Liquor Boy in St. Louis Park for deliveries of beer, wine and spirits.
The service, which soft-launched earlier this week in a limited area, will be up and live in the 25 ZIP codes in Instacart’s delivery zone in the region starting today.
The rollout comes on the heels of Amazon.com’s Twin Cities launch last week of alcohol delivery. It partnered with Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop in Minneapolis and will deliver orders to members of its $99-a-year Prime membership program. Deliveries are free for members within a two-hour window or $7.99 for within an hour.
Of course, alcohol delivery has been around for awhile. But in the past couple of years, it has become more convenient and accessible through a growing number of third-party delivery services with smartphone apps such as Drizly and Bite Squad.
Rob Hill, Total Wine’s manager of new business development, noted that companies like his have had to work through the legal aspects of alcohol delivery since it’s not legal in all states (but it is in Minnesota). He added that consumers are also more open to it as they’ve become more accustomed to delivery services in general.
Total Wine first partnered with Instacart in November at one of its stores in Miami, where deliveries now account for nearly 5 percent of that store’s sales. Since then, they have expanded to several other markets.
While some people may use the service later at night in a pinch if they are running low on supplies, Hill said most people use it to plan in advance.
“We do tend to see an increase as the weekend approaches and in advance of holidays,” he said. “It really mirrors with what we see in in-store traffic.”
He added that as part of its contract with Instacart, Total Wine requires an adult with ID showing he or she is 21 years or older to accept the delivery. It will not leave the items at a home if no one is there to accept it.
Total Wine’s prices through Instacart are the same as its in-store prices. Liquor Boy’s may be up to 10 percent higher on Instacart, according to Instacart’s website. Instacart charges a $5.99 fee for deliveries within two hours on orders over $35. It also offers a couple different membership options for unlimited deliveries.
Instacart’s alcohol deliveries cover a region in the Twin Cities that includes downtown Minneapolis, Uptown, Dinkytown, North Loop, Edina, St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Richfield.