1. Business

Drinks to your door: Publix, Instacart roll out home liquor delivery

An Instacart worker is shown picking up milk for home delivery at a Tampa Bay Publix. Now, Publix is rolling out home alcohol delivery via Instacart for customers who are 21 or older. [Times file photo, 2016]
An Instacart worker is shown picking up milk for home delivery at a Tampa Bay Publix. Now, Publix is rolling out home alcohol delivery via Instacart for customers who are 21 or older. [Times file photo, 2016]
Published Nov. 27, 2017

Feeling boozy but lazy? Good news: Tampa Bay's alcohol delivery options just got a little bigger. Publix is now offering liquor delivery from select locations around Florida.

"Everything about online ordering and delivering is about providing choices for your customers," Publix spokesperson Brian West said. "Choices and convenience."

Publix customers will be able to order liquor either online or on Publix's mobile app, the same app through which groceries can be ordered. When people search for a store in their area, a "Publix Liquors" option will pop up if it is available nearby.

"It was just another opportunity to add yet another option for our customers," West said.

The new offering — which rolled out Nov. 15 — builds on the Lakeland grocery chain's existing beer and wine delivery. Publix currently delivers beer and wine through Instacart in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Liquor currently has a smaller delivery radius. About 200 Publix locations offer it, and those are all in Florida. Several of Tampa Bay's Publix locations will be included. But expect that radius to grow in the near future, Publix's West said.

Ordering liquor works similarly to ordering other groceries from Publix online. Shoppers can choose the items they want to purchase, enter payment information and choose delivery.

The difference is when customers check out with alcohol in their online basket, they are prompted for their full birthday. They must also have a valid ID with the matching birth date once the order arrives.

And liquor orders must be separate from grocery orders. The two can't be combined.

There's another caveat, too — customers can't be drunk when the delivery person arrives.

West wasn't sure how such a requirement would be enforced.

"That's a question for Instacart," he said.

The first order through the service is free, but there will be a $5.99 fee per delivery after that for all purchases, not just liquor.

San Francisco-based Instacart, while one of several companies that offers delivery from Publix, is the only service Publix is affiliated with.

In June, the two announced same-day grocery delivery from all Publix stores by 2020. At the time, they delivered same-day groceries to 107 ZIP codes in Tampa Bay.

Related coverage: Publix and Instacart launch will offer same-day grocery delivery at all locations by 2020>

Instacart moved into Tampa Bay in late 2016 after piloting a grocery delivery program with Publix earlier that summer. It delivers goods from stores including Costco, Total Wine & More and Petco.

To see if delivery is available near you, go to Purchases can be made through the Publix Delivery app or the Instacart app on Google Play or the App Store.

Contact Malena Carollo at Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.


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