Business is booming at liquor stores as people prepare to hunker down


EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s not just grocery stores seeing increased sales during the coronavirus pandemic — customers are flooding liquor stores as well.

Some stores say the sales boom is rivaling that of the holidays as customers prepare for the unknown.

“Some people deal with stress different than others. So if they can go home and have a beer while watching the news and it’ll help them keep calm, maybe we’re doing our part,” said Sarah Jorge, who manages House of Liquors in West Warwick.

However, coronavirus concerns are changing the way these stores are conducting business.

“Everything is disinfected,” Jorge said. “We’re keeping them safe as we can possibly keep ourselves safe.”

Similar changes have been made at The Savory Grape in East Greenwich, which has also seen a boost in sales recently.

“Every staff member has to wear gloves. We are disinfecting on an hourly basis everything that we touch. We also have disinfectant and wipes out for clients to use,” founder Jessica Granatiero explained.

At The Savory Grape, they’re also doing their part to adhere to social distancing and public gathering guidelines, according to Granatiero.

“We put little stars, x’s on the floors so that if we did have 5 to 10 people here at the same time, they’re maintaining the distance,” she said. “If we have to check IDs, we’re asking them to hold them up. We’re not touching them.”

Small changes allow these stores to safely serve the community for as long as they can.

“We try to keep up with Governor Raimondo’s conferences, and we’re here until she says we can’t be,” Jorge added.

Both House of Liquors and The Savory Grape said they are adding measures to protect vulnerable populations right now, whether it be offering delivery and special hours for seniors or even curbside service.

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