Gulf Coast liquor stores trying to keep shelves stocked for holidays
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Ahead of family Christmas parties and at-home celebrations, bottles are flying off the shelves of South Mississippi liquor stores.
Lines formed at Hardy Court Liquor & Wine, business was steady at High Proof Wine & Liquor and regulars were welcomed at Prince Wine & Liquor.
However, the stores’ managers and owners said there’s something dampening their Christmas spirit.
“We can definitely feel that it’s not the same as last year,” Prince Wine and Liquor Assistant Manager Michelle Acosta said.
Local stores are coming off another year of ups and downs due to COVID-19 and that includes a current shortage of some popular brands.
“We’re out of Jack, haven’t had Jack in a while,” Acosta said.
That’s because Mississippi’s Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control has had trouble keeping things in stock and distributing them across the state.
“When you have stores and casinos all drawing from the same place, it’s definitely been challenging,” Acosta said.
But store owners don’t blame the state for the inventory issues. They said it’s the manufacturers who are having trouble getting materials, labels and workers to create the brands we want.
“A lot of people don’t take into consideration that COVID shut everything down. Until production meets demand we are going to definitely keep having these issues,” Acosta said.
Until certain brands restock on shelves, local stores say they will help customers as best they can and even recommend similar brands while they wait on shipments.
“You always show them that you’re trying. I always think that makes a big difference,” Acosta said.
Store owners said they are already buying up inventory to make sure they have enough for New Years’ celebrations.
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