Supply chain backlog leading to alcohol shortages

(Source: Virginia ABC)
(Source: Virginia ABC)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 11:22 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Retailers in Virginia are keeping their eyes on a problem that’s leading to fewer bottles of alcohol on store shelves right now.

It couldn’t come at a worse time. This is the time of year more people are purchasing liquor as we head into the holidays. But some of your favorite items may or may not be up for grabs. It all has to do with supply chain backlogs. It’s impacted many other products we buy and now the supply issues have made their way to the liquor store. That has ABC officials on high alert.

“We just noticed that actually,” said a man, who asked not to be identified, leaving an ABC store in Chesterfield. “One of the Moonshines was empty.”

ABC said nearly 190 products the company sells are currently out of stock. It’s a number that fluctuates day by day.

“Our suppliers, they need glass. They need bottles. They need caps. They need trucks to move product. All of those things are being impacted by the supply chain,” said CEO Travis Hill.

It’s leading to bare shelves at some liquor stores nationwide.

Hannah Smith, who works behind the scenes at NBC12, is in the middle of planning a wedding and getting married in less than two weeks.

“We kind of had to change the menu around because they did not have some of the products we wanted,” Smith said.

She even asked for a specialty liqueur, but apparently, she wasn’t the only one asking.

“They said there was a statewide shortage, so you could go nowhere and find it,” she said.

Virginia’s ABC says there’s no need to panic just yet. They’re working to keep your favorite bottles in supply.

“If a certain rum or tequila is out, making sure that we have other selections for people to pick from,” Hill said. “Maybe they don’t have a 750, but they have a 1 liter, or maybe they don’t have it in glass, but they have it in plastic.”

Another problem suppliers are facing: Not enough people working. And of course, some of those who are working have to quarantine due to COVID exposure. Not to mention congestion at ports also adds to an alcohol shortage just in time for the holidays.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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