Page 9 - BusinessWest July 20, 2020
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Solid Proof
Pandemic Has Changed the Landscape in the Spirits World
SBy George O’Brien
ome are calling it the ‘drinking at home’
phenomenon — a reference to how
people who can’t go to bars, nightclubs, or (until recently) casinos have been doing all
or most of their imbibing at their residence instead.
Others are calling it the ‘drinking while work- ing at home’ phenomenon, and that’s another
tunities for some area business owners, espe- cially liquor-store owners — always deemed essential by the governor — who have seen sales volumes rise (in some cases dramatically) and a number of trends emerge.
“April, May, and June were just ... crazy. It was just constant — the phone ringing off the hook some days, and you never knew when your busy days would be.”
That list includes everything from more bulk purchases to buying less-expensive items to keep overall spending down; from ordering online to getting items delivered or picking them up at curbside.
“April, May, and June were just ... crazy,” recalled Sean Barry, owner of Four Seasons Pack- age Store in Hadley. “It was just constant — the phone ringing off the hook some days, and you never knew when your busy days would be.”
Mike Quinlan, fine wines manager at Table
      Mike Quinlan says the pandemic has ratcheted up online orders and curbside pickup, while generating an increase in overall consumption of alcohol.
story, one that has a number of employers understandably concerned.
Whatever it’s called, it’s a fact that people are not going out to drink nearly as much as they did BC — before COVID. And they’re drinking more, by most all accounts — accord- ing to a Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted in the spring, 16% of all adults said they were drinking more during the pandemic, with higher rates among younger adults — and for reasons rang- ing from coping with all the additional stress from the pan- demic to not being in the office for eight or nine hours a day, to being able to stay up later on ‘school nights’ because they don’t have to dress for or com- mute to work in the morning.
All this has created oppor-
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