ROCHESTER, Minn. - 'Tis the season of alcohol consumption and it won't be long until you're stocking up for holiday celebrations.
Supply chain issues are impacting all sorts of retail areas across the nation, including the alcohol industry. The industry has been facing supply chain issues on and off throughout the pandemic, including glass and aluminum shortages. Now, the labor shortage is putting strain on distribution.
"It's our distributors not being able to get product or not able to distribute it. They sometimes have it in their warehouse but they can't get it out," explains Bryan King, owner of Apollo Liquor. He tells KIMT there's been some delays, but for the most part he's been able to work with distributors to get what he needs. King believes he hasn't been as affected as other retail sectors so far.
The shelves are well-stocked, but you may notice a few holes. In the summer, seltzer was more challenging to get a hold of. Going into the colder months, King says it's whiskey. "I don't see it being an issue in Apollo in not being able to provide the products that they want. There might be outages for a short period of time, but we're working to resolve those on a daily basis," he adds.
As for which beverages may be affected next, King tells KIMT it's impossible to guess. "That is a crystal ball that I couldn't even share with you. I would never say this product will be available, don't worry about it, because I think it really just depends on distribution and production and I don't have that crystal ball to tell you what those items would be."
If you can't find the product you're looking for, King says it's likely they have the same alcohol in stock, but a different size. Sales associates can also assist customers in finding a similar product to try instead.
Heading into the holiday season, King advises customers to start thinking about their liquor store holiday shopping sooner than later. "If you have unique items, I would definitely look to get them early. There will be certain products that we may have a backorder on for 2-3 weeks perhaps, and if that's coming into something you need for Thanksgiving, we're not that far away."
King also expects holiday gift bundles may not be available this year. The same alcohol will be in stock, just not in special holiday packages.