Amazon Might Have to Open a Tiny Liquor Store in San Francisco
The apparently stand-alone location is part of a plan to sell alcohol through Amazon Prime Now in the city.
Amazon's online retail takeover was supposed to mark the end of brick and mortar stores, but ironically enough, over the past couple years, the digital giant has been getting more and more involved with physical locations: the Whole Foods buyout, Amazon Go stores, and another grocery venture supposedly on the way. And now, Amazon is reportedly looking to open its own liquor store in San Francisco — though don't expect a chain of Amazon booze outlets to follow.
Amazon is planning to open a very small, 200-square-foot liquor store near its 40,000-square-foot Prime Now warehouse in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood, according to the San Francisco Business Times. If approved, the store would be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for customers to drop in and buy beer, wine, and spirits for carryout, Business Insider adds. However, the warehouse-adjacent location isn't a coincidence; it would appear that the proposed liquor store is more of a technicality that would allow Amazon to sell delivery beer, wine, and other booze as part of its Prime Now service in the city. "Since Prime Now's strategy has never been physical storefronts, the retailer worked with [the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control] to make sure they met the minimum requirements to obtain a license," the Business Times wrote.
Amazon currently offers some Prime Now alcohol delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area through Whole Foods, but if Amazon itself is able to receive a liquor license then, in theory, it would give the brand more flexibly to sell beer, wine, and spirits outside of Whole Foods orders — meaning instead of buying a bottle of whiskey with your groceries, you could get it sent to your door in under two hours with Xbox games and guitar strings instead.
Regardless, the fact that this new liquor license could mean that a company worth about $900 million is stuck running a tiny liquor store in San Francisco out of necessity is, to say the least, pretty funny.