If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can now get alcohol delivered directly to your door in an hour. However, you need to be in New York City or Seattle.
Starting today, Amazon Prime members in Manhattan can order beer, wine, or other spirits through the Prime Now smartphone app and have it delivered in one hour. The service costs $7.99, but if a customer can wait two hours or more, the delivery is free.
Manhattan is the second city in the U.S. to have the service. Amazon has been delivering alcohol to Prime members in Seattle since August.
Unlike Amazon’s hometown, New York City is not requiring Amazon to obtain a liquor license. According to a Manhattan ordinance, Amazon is only required to have a “delivery service provider” permit since they are transporting product on behalf of an authorized merchant.
Amazon is not the only alcohol delivery game in town. Many local booze retailers already offer the service to customers. Furthermore, other companies like Delivery.com, Drizly, Minibar, and Thirstie also have phone apps that help meet the demand of Manhattan liquor stores.
“We will continue to learn from customers and if they love the offering of alcohol in the service, we will look to continue to expand it,” wrote an Amazon spokesperson in an email to Re/Code.
With an already crowded market, the e-commerce giant is betting that the unique selection of alcohol products offered to Amazon Prime Members will be the edge they need to effectively compete. The cost to operate the Prime Now service is high, but Amazon believes in its viability. Having the ability to offer a same-day delivery service closes the gap between the traditional brick-and-mortar stores and the online retailer.
“We are excited to continue to expand our offerings whether that’s adding beer, wine and spirits in Manhattan starting today or continuing to increase the number of local stores and restaurants in the service,” said the worldwide director of Prime Now, Stephenie Landry.
Should adding the booze service to the Amazon Prime membership be a hit, the company’s goal is to jump any necessary regulatory hurdles in order to offer the same deal in the 20 cities where Prime Now is currently available.
However, according to the New York Post, the Amazon alcohol delivery service has already had a hiccup.
The service is supposed to be available from 6 a.m. to midnight. Yet, when a customer went to order some beer as soon as the alcohol delivery service went live, the app sent a notification that the one-hour service was not available for that zip code.
Although, the Prime member would get free delivery if he waited until 8 a.m. As it turns out, the one-hour delivery only works if the merchant that sells the booze is open. Some of the Amazon retail partners do not open until 10 a.m.
It appears Amazon has some bugs to work out. Until then, Amazon Prime members will need to use the app and verify the liquor store’s hours before knowing just how fast the booze will show up.
In a relate Inquisitr report, Amazon anticipates their new Prime Air delivery service to be up and running soon. The service will be using flying drones to deliver light packages. The expected delivery time to customers who use Prime Air is estimated to be 30 minutes or less.
The online retail juggernaut is putting another nail in the coffin of traditional stores. This year, Amazon Prime members who use the mobile app will be able to get deliveries all the way up to midnight on Christmas Eve. Prime Now only represents a very small share of Amazon’s total business, yet offering delivery to last-minute shoppers will certainly put some fear in retail competitors.
The company also added Manhattan Italian grocery store Eataly to the Prime now delivery service. Thanks to Amazon Prime, members can now get an Italian dinner as well as wine delivered to their front step in an hour.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]