Amazon Plans to Open an Off-Licence Because Hey, Why Not

By Alyse Stanley on at

Amazon is trying to set up a physical off-licence in San Francisco, Business Insider reported Saturday, which means soon you may get to act out your drunk Amazon purchases in real-time.

The e-commerce giant has recently begun investing in brick-and-mortar locations, such as the cashierless convenience stores it debuted last year along with purported plans to open thousands more. At the same time, Amazon’s been taking some serious steps to try to make its on-demand delivery service, Prime Now, the go-to for alcohol deliveries in California. While the company has been delivering booze through Prime Now in other parts of the U.S. since 2015, California requires all businesses – yes, even online ones – to secure a liquor licence before they can sell alcohol within state lines. Amazon applied for such a permit earlier this week.

The proposed 18.5-square-metre storefront would be located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, where an Amazon warehouse currently stands. Amazon has not yet confirmed whether this shop would be cashierless as well, but it would act as a hub for the company’s Prime Now deliveries in the area, Mercury News reported. At the same time, customers could also come in between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to buy their beer, wine or spirits in person. Deliveries from the location would be available until midnight.

The move makes sense given that Amazon already offers its grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, throughout the San Francisco area. Even without the physical storefront, that gives the company a foundation for a potentially far-reaching alcohol delivery service. And offering customers the added novelty of getting to set foot in an Amazon store to buy their favourite booze while also centralising the company’s delivery operations kills two birds with one stone.

First corner shops, now offies; it’s just as my fellow Gizmodo reporter Bryan Menegus wrote earlier this summer: “In Amazon’s crusade to fill every nook and cranny of the known universe with smirking cardboard boxes, nowhere is safe.” Not even the booze cabinet. [Business Insider]

Featured photo: Gerald Herbert (AP)