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Arkansas liquor stores considering permanent alcohol delivery option

A new service that began when COVID-19 hit Arkansas has made getting alcohol more convenient, and some want it to stick around after the pandemic is over.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — When the coronavirus made its way into Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson allowed liquor to be sold to-go or for delivery. 

Colonial Wines & Spirits off of Markham in Little Rock saw an immediate reaction from customers.

"We deliver 40 to 100 different deliveries per day," said Clark Trim, President of Colonial Wines & Spirits.

"In the first 2 weeks, the delivery was extremely busy. The third week we saw delivery taper off a little bit and curbside service became much more used," Trim said.

Because of the new service, Trim was able to hire new staff and add new transportation to his business.

He believes this can become a permanent option for people purchasing liquor once regulations begin to return to normal.

"There's a good chance they will reach out to their lawmakers and say, 'Hey we would really like to see this continue,'" Trim said.

Jonathan Looney, owner of O'Looney's Wine & Liquor agrees. He told us delivering alcohol to customers gives the business a new way to connect with the consumer.

Looney said he would like to see it stay, but it is up to the state lawmakers and Hutchinson to make that happen.

We also talked to a manager at The Ridge Wine & Spirits in Little Rock. While the store does make some deliveries to nearby homes, they do not want to continue the service. 

He said it would require hiring more people, which they do not want to do at this time.

Could alcohol delivery be a reality for Arkansas after the coronavirus?

The Alcohol Beverage Control Board said it's a possibility.

An official said as long as Hutchinson's emergency declaration is in place businesses can still offer to-go and delivery options.

If legislation is introduced to make those permanent then the ABC will consider their position at that time.

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