Ohio alcohol retailers continue to see uptick in sales during pandemic

Ohio alcohol retailers continue to see uptick in sales during pandemic

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -With no end in site for the alcohol curfew in Ohio, retailers are seeing a sustained boom.

“Monday’s are like a Saturday business, so it’s been really good,” said Joe Minotti of Minotti’s Wine and Liquor.

He says they’ve seen an uptick of about 20-25% in retail sales for months.

“It’s been a big big pick up it’s been real steady,” he said.

They’ve added curbside service and delivery six days a week to take advantage of the momentum.

Bourbon 🥃 is among the hottest items flying off the shelves at Minotti’s Wine and Liquor. The owner tells me sales are up, but uneven. I’ll explain on Cleveland 19 News at 3:00

Posted by Jen Picciano Cleveland 19 on Friday, October 16, 2020

But while those numbers are encouraging, Minotti’s restaruant and bar wholesale business is taking a real hit.

“We’re probably down 40-45% and some places haven’t even opened. It’s been such a hard ordeal for them,” Minotti said.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, liquor sales in Ohio are up 11% over the last six months, but the numbers are uneven.

The organization’s Chief Economist, David Ozgo, says 1.75 liter handles, most often bought for personal use, are up 29%.

But liter sales, more popular with bars, are down 18%.

The hardest hit sector of the industry is craft distillers, according to Ozgo.

A recent nationwide survey conducted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States revealed that craft distillers are down 41% due to loss of sales through tasting room tours and bar and restaurant sales.

Another factor, Minotti says, is availability.

“We get our liquor truck every Monday morning and we have no idea what’s going to be on it as far hard to get liquors. Bourbon is hard to get, and tequilas. It’s all controlled by the state,” he said.

Minotti says house parties are still happening, and he hopes he can get what his customers are looking for.

He expects things to get even busier as patios shut down and the holidays approach.

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