Discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart tout home delivery services to compete with Amazon. Now the liquor biz is mixing it up too. Last year Bite Squad started delivery from Surdyk's within a 7 mile radius. Then the Drizly and Drinkfly apps entered the market. Customers order online from their smartphone or computer.
The newest service is Minibar, a New York City startup that now delivers in the downtown Minneapolis area for $5 (the first order is free, $10 minimum).
Convenience often charges a premium and so prices are the usual non-discounted variety. A bottle of Apothic red that sells for less than $7 on sale is $11 at Minibar. A Meiomi Pinot Noir that sells for $17 on sale is $23.
If you want liquor delivered, you don't have to download an app. Many liquor stores have offered it as a service for years, but if you want convenience and low prices, it's hit and miss. Total Wine, arguably the low-price leader in the Twin Cities, does not currently offer delivery service. Liquor Boy in St. Louis Park and Chicago Lake Liquor in Minneapolis offer it on, excuse the pun, a case-by-case basis. In other words, it depends on staffing availability, location and size of the order, said owner John Wolf.
Morelli's in St. Paul takes delivery orders by phone or email, payable through Paypal. Delivery is a flat $10 for orders of $150 or more, but it may not be same day delivery. The website indicates that most orders are delivered within 2 business days. Select cities get free delivery for a limited time, said co-owner Matt Morelli. Woodbury will get free delivery with a minimum order of $125 from May 13 to May 26 for Memorial Day. After that it could be Stillwater, Eagan or Golden Valley, Morelli said.
Morelli said their delivery service is very popular, but others are seeing moderate business. Bite Squad, which charges $10 for delivery within 7 miles of the Surdyk's store in Minneapolis, has met sales expectations, according to Bite Squad co-owner Kian Salehi. He does not plan to expand his liquor delivery service in a big way because liquor stores are selling identical products for the most part. People don't feel that every restaurant's moo goo gai pan is the same, but a 1.75 liter of Smirnoff vodka is a 1.75 liter of Smirnoff vodka no matter who sells it to you, Salehi explained.