Beverage alcohol is gaining serious traction in mainstream e-commerce. Walmart—the world’s largest retailer and second biggest online retailer—recently tweaked its online and grocery pick up model to include beer, wine, and spirits, where permitted. “We’re committed to progress and building a larger, healthier e-commerce business,” stated Dan Binder, the company’s vice president of investor relations, in Walmart’s most recent earnings report.
Walmart customers in 29 states can now order beverage alcohol on Walmart.com or through the Walmart Grocery app, and choose a time to pick it up at the store. States where customers can order beverage alcohol through Walmart’s grocery pick-up service include California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and New Hampshire. The retail giant has also begun delivering beverage alcohol from nearly 200 stores in California and Florida, and is looking to add more to the list depending on local and state regulations.
Walmart’s decision puts beverage alcohol on a dynamic growth escalator. Prior to beverage alcohol being added to Walmart’s online grocery ordering and pick-up service in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, strong growth in online grocery shopping contributed to the retailer’s e-commerce sales in the U.S. growing 41% year-on-year during the third-quarter of the fiscal year ending October 25, 2019, according to Walmart’s most recent earnings report. This growth easily outpaced the store’s overall U.S. sales increase of 3.2% over the same time period. This growth came on the heels of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce sales in fiscal 2019 growing 40%, nearly doubling its sales over the previous two years.