Apr 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

America stocks up on alcohol during coronavirus pandemic

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

While dine-in restaurants and bars may be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are still drinking at home, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Most governors have deemed liquor stores, wineries, distilleries and other providers of alcoholic beverages as essential businesses.

  • Some states eventually extended the power to restaurants, allowing them to offer alcohol as a carry-out or delivery option.

By the numbers: Sales of alcohol at liquor and grocery stores surged 22% for the week ending March 28, compared with the same period last year, per the WSJ.

  • Overall wine sales jumped 10% in March from a year earlier, while spirits sales rose 9%.
  • Online alcohol sales also jumped. Alcohol delivery app Drizly saw nearly 1,600% growth in year-over-year new customers at the end of March, CEO Cory Rellas told The Hill.

The bottom line, via Axios' Sara Fischer: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the health of the American people. Substance abuse, a lack of physical stimulation and unhealthy diets could take a toll on Americans.

Go deeper

Rising home sales show Americans are looking past the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are behaving very differently than they have in previous recessions — convinced that the coronavirus pandemic will soon pass, many continue to spend money as if nothing has changed.

Driving the news: The latest example of this trend is the Commerce Department's new home sales report, which showed home sales increased in April despite nationwide lockdowns that banned real estate agents in some states from even showing listed houses.

D.C. chef: Restaurants need more time to spend PPP money

Photo: Axios screenshot

Restaurants need more time to spend money they've received from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that the loans are forgivable, Kwame Onwuachi, owner and head chef of Kith and Kin, a D.C.-based restaurant, said during an Axios digital event.

Why it matters: Onwuachi said small restaurants are reaching the end of the eight-week time limit to spend the money. If they do not spend the money, the loans may not be forgiven.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.