Coronavirus cabin fever? Don’t worry, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits says you can still get booze

coronavirus florida 19
When everything else is canceled, at least there's still beer.

As the great staycation of 2020 begins, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is reassuring its customers that their booze will, at least for now, remain available.

“ABC stores will remain open until we determine, if necessary, that circumstances are unsafe for our team members or if we are ordered to close as a result of government action,” the Florida company wrote in an email to customers.

“Our plan is to continue serving you as long as possible.”

So Floridians might not be able to catch a Spring Training game or enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day march or spend a day in Disney, but the beer, wine and whiskey will still flow.

Thank God for small miracles.

But while Americans, encouraged to practice social distancing where possible, have joked about stocking up on wine just as much as, say, toilet paper, ABC is taking the threat seriously.

“We have initiated additional precautionary measures to protect our team members and our guests from the spread of the virus. In addition to receiving counsel from our in-house physician, we are closely following all CDC, World Health Organization, state and local health authority recommendations,” the company wrote.

The company is taking precautionary efforts including upping its cleaning regimen, educating employees, canceling group tastings and increasing its in-store and online ordering options.

The company instituted a mandatory operational checklist to keep its stores safe and clean including frequently wiping down shopping cart and basket handles, regularly sanitizing countertops, checkout areas and other commonly touched surfaces and providing ample hand sanitizing stations.

“We strongly believe you should feel confident and comfortable shopping our stores and want you to feel that way no matter how the conditions evolve,” the company wrote.

ABC is also educating its team members on proper and frequent hand washing, instructing them to avoid handshaking and telling employees who feel sick or may have been exposed to the virus to stay home.

They also suspended all business travel on commercial flights and have encouraged employees to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel.

For those wary of spending too much time in the store and exposing themselves to potential contact with others, the store is “increasing” its focus on online buying and in-store pick-up service.

Customers can select, order and pay for their items on ABC’s website.

“We’ll pick and pack them quickly for you and have them ready at the ABC Express register when you arrive,” the email explained.

The store also partners with several delivery partners, which can also be found on the store’s website.

While there is increasing fear in Florida that the local economy will suffer amid event cancellations and lost business due to social distancing, ABC’s email suggests they’re not only weathering the pandemic, they’re booming because of it.

“The high demand we face right now is forcing us to work smarter and harder to prepare for any unknowns,” the company wrote.

ABC isn’t the only game in town either. Other providers like Leukens and liquor stores at grocery stores also remain open. Drizzly, a mobile app for liquor delivery, is also still up and running.

So at a time when fears are mounting, isn’t it good to know you can still get your drink on? After all, this is Florida — where hurricanes equate to booze laden parties. You didn’t expect us to only stock up on hand sanitizer, did you?

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day next week, Sláinte.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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