Amazon And Alcohol: Good News, Or Potential Trouble?

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Amazon is the beast that just keeps getting bigger. It’s become a solid part of many Western countries, and none more so than America. To gain some idea of how important this e commerce company have become, consider that 64% of U.S. households now have Amazon Prime. On top of which, four of every $10 spent online is spent on Amazon. In case you hadn’t realized, it’s kind of a big deal.

And, to keep interest high, Amazon forever surprises us with new benefits. Most recently, we’ve seen an explosion of popularity for Amazon’s ‘Alexa,’ an intelligent personal assistant who is changing the way we live. Thanks to her, Amazon is at the forefront of ‘the internet of everything,’ and cementing themselves well and truly into our homes.

But, the company’s attempts to impress don’t end there. Their success seems to very much hinder on the ‘fingers in pies’ theory. Most recently, Amazon is trying to change grocery shopping habits. As you can see from the article found at, Amazon bought Wholefoods for a whopping $13.7 billion earlier this year. That’s their biggest acquisition to date and stands to make them a lot more. While they’ve been attempting to crack groceries for a decade now, they look set to do it soon.

And, to further the cause, Amazon Prime Now is offering one-two hour alcohol delivery. While New York City customers have enjoyed this benefit for four years now, it’s only just being rolled out to different states. The list is ever changing, but states included as of writing this are:

  • Cincinnati
  • Indiana
  • Columbus
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Richmond
  • Virginia
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • The Bay Area

For all of the above areas, Prime now allows you to order beer and wine. In some states, it’s also possible to order hard liquor to your door. One-hour delivery costs a standard $8 charge, while two-hours is free on orders over $25.

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In an age where convenience is essential, this development is largely a good thing. Your party never needs to run dry again. Within an hour, you could restock the cupboards and revive the fun.

But, applying such convenience to alcohol could become an issue. For one, the over $25 rule, which is standard for most orders, could be dangerous where alcohol is concerned. By encouraging larger orders in this way, Amazon could be opening themselves up for dram shop suits like those handled by If customers find themselves in trouble after drinking, so too could Amazon.

Not to mention that you have to wonder about the administration of age restrictions. While there is a multi-step process to verify ages, that is, for the most part, left to delivery drivers. As such, there’s still seems a possibility for error. We can only hope that running the service in New York already will have given Amazon adequate time to get the issue under control. Otherwise, they could have more than a dram shop charge on their hands!

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