Target to offer alcohol delivery

A target employee hands a bag will an order across a counter.

Written by James Shea

Target has entered the word of the online ordering and delivery of alcohol.

The store will soon allow customers at 1,200 stores to order alcohol online and do curbside pickup. At 600 locations, customers can get same-day delivery through Shipt. The customer must show proper identification when the order is delivered.

Delivery is expected to start rolling out in late May.

“Our adult beverage category is one of the fastest-growing divisions within our food and beverage business, and we continue to hear from guests how much they love our fast, easy and safe same-day services,” said Rick Gomez, chief food and beverage officer at Target. “As we continue to invest in the products and experiences our guests’ love, making our wine, beer and spirits selection available for pickup and delivery is a natural next step.”

Alcohol can be ordered at target.com or through the Target app. Shoppers can select either pickup or delivery at checkout.

The move comes after a pilot project for alcohol delivery was tested in Florida, California and South Dakota, according to media reports. While some states limit the online purchase of alcohol, Target expects 80% of stores will be able to offer curbside pickup or delivery.

Target has been fine-tuning and expanding its delivery and online ordering operation, especially during the pandemic. The company bought Shipt in 2017 and has been using it as the backbone of its delivery operation. It is also in the process of developing a hub and spoke model of delivery. The company is testing the idea of handing packages off to delivery drivers at a central location, rather than having Shipt drivers pick and deliver.

Target is not the only company to expand into alcohol delivery. Uber Technologies purchased Drizly, which works with independent alcohol retailers, for $1.1 billion. Instacart began offering alcohol delivery in a limited number of states in 2019 and has been expanding the service.

Square is also offering direct-to-consumer alcohol delivery.

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