WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Alcohol sales have gone up drastically since the beginning of the pandemic, and while that demand hasn’t gone down, supply chain issues continue to be a problem for many liquor stores.
Stores say the supply chain issues hit nearly every business level, from specific brands or types of liquor being available to even problems down the chain like glassmaking for bottles.
“I mean it’s glass. It’s cans. I’ve heard all of all kinds of shortages. Anheuser-Busch, Michelob Ultra, they’re out of 20 packs, like bottles, 12-ounce bottles,” said Jeff Grantham, Central Wine & Spirits owner.
Grantham says his store has begun placing yellow tags around to make customers aware that the issue isn’t related to the store itself.
“We put distributor out of stock so the customer knows we just can’t get the product right now.”
At R&J Discount Liquor on Douglas Street, night manager Matthew Nanninga says the product shortages come in waves.
“The industry isn’t as damaged as it could be later on, but I would say that it will rock everybody kind of hard if it doesn’t turn around pretty quick.”
The issue leaves him a little worried about the holidays coming up.
“Not knowing what we’re going to have on hand at any given time, it’s going to get a little dicey,” said Nanninga.
Davis Liquor has four stores in the area. Store manager Will Quincy says preparation has been key in battling supply chain problems.
“If there’s something that is difficult to get ahold of right now, you know we usually see a rise in something similar and can plan from that.”
All the stores, KSN News reporter Zach Martin spoke with say one of the hardest products to get includes anything imported from outside the country, with many products being on backorder for months.