Holiday liquor deals scratched at Virginia ABC stores

The Grinch known as the coronavirus pandemic is to blame for an absence of holiday promotions at Virginia’s state-run liquor stores.

Consumers expecting seasonal fall and holiday discounts during events such as “Door Busters,” “Spirited Thursdays,” “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” at Virginia ABC stores will be left in the cold, said the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Citing a concern about a “lack of social distancing,” ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill said the ABC believes holding “one-day sales, whether online or in-store, adds further strain on our customers and employees.”

The move is being made “in order to provide a sales experience that accounts for safety and convenience in these challenging times,” Hill said.

“We have worked hard to create a shopping environment that is safe for our customers and employees, and we want to keep it that way.”

Hill said because of the coronavirus pandemic, the industry faces some issues. Some distilled spirits suppliers have inventory challenges.

“Due to the uncertainty of this health crisis, we are unable to forecast which products will be impacted and for how long. It wouldn’t be fair to our customers to offer our usual holiday promotions and have a number of products out-of stock,” Hill wrote in a letter to customers.

“Additionally, we are in the final stages … to transition to a new data center that is expected to upgrade our technical capabilities in many areas, including our website. We are halting all short-term promotional sales offered online until we can stabilize our systems in the new data center and can ensure the website is ready for a cyber event that delivers an experience that is up to all of our
standards,” Hill said.

He encourages consumers look for “the multiple in-store and online savings opportunities we have planned on hundreds of products throughout the holidays.”

He said online ordering is still available and monthly front counter display and “Mini Monday” promotions will “take place as planned.”

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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