Get your holiday booze early: Liquor store owners warn of limited product due to supply chain issues

Business News

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The holidays are fast approaching, and local liquor stores are urging shoppers to make their purchases sooner rather than later this year.

Frederick Lyons, a manager at Heritage Liquors, tells 12 News ongoing supply chain issues have limited the products they have to offer.

“Bottle shortage, cap shortage, label shortage,” Lyons explained. “Manufacturing [alcohol], to actually getting it on the ships ready to deliver, to actually having the man power to get everything where it needs to go … it’s all trickling down.”

Elliot Fishbein, president of Town Wine & Spirits, said he’s unsure when some of his most popular holiday products will return to his store’s shelves.

“Not ever in my life have I ever seen the frustration and confusion of what we are going through, and what wholesalers and importers are going through,” Fishbein said. “Champagne is a huge problem, and already, the major items in champagne are no longer available.”

Fishbein said the champagne shortage specifically is being caused by transportation shortages.

“The containers are being stacked up … but no drivers to bring it up north to us,” Fishbein said.

Lyons said he’s running into the same problem when it comes to bubbly.

“We’re trying to maintain a hefty amount of product and we can [only] do what we can do,” Lyons said.

Both Lyons and Fishbein said champagne isn’t the only product they’re struggling to find.

“Getting more malts of any distillery is becoming a major issue,” Fishbein explained.

“A simple thing, like a 40-ounce Budweiser bottle or a Miller Lite bottle, we can’t get,” Lyons added.

While there’s still a variety of alcohol to choose from at both of their stores, both Lyons and Fishbein said they’re unsure when some of the items they have will be restocked once they run out.

“People weren’t really buying the volume that they’re looking to do now, for the holidays, for those parties, so it’s going to be questionable whether the products are available,” Fishbein said.

Lyons said gift sets are currently available at his store, but once they’re gone, that’s it.

Both men are asking customers to be patient with not only their stores, but other local liquor stores as well. They also suggest being open to purchasing a different product if their “go to” choice is out of stock.

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