Richmond Times Dispatch, Colleen Curran - January 21st, 2022
Starting Monday, all Virginia ABC stores will start opening at noon due to COVID-19 and staffing issues. The change will affect all 395 ABC stores in Virginia.
The change in hours is due to COVID-19 affecting retail staff either through exposures or the need to quarantine.
“Like other retailers affected by pandemic-related staffing shortages, we are modifying our store hours to reduce the need to close stores because of employee quarantines,” CEO Travis Hill said in a statement. “Opening at noon meets the needs of the majority of our customers, most of whom prefer to shop in the afternoon.”
Store closing times will remain the same.
All store employees are required to wear face masks. Customers are encouraged to also wear face masks when shopping in an ABC store.
Customers can also place orders online at www.abc.virginia.gov for curbside pickup or home delivery.
As for how long the change will last, ABC said, “Future decisions related to ABC store operations will be made with guidance from these official sources and implemented on a case-by-case basis.”
WRIC, Kerry O'Brien - January 10, 2022
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WRIC) — It could be a dry January for some people, whether they were planning on it or not as Virginia ABC stores around the state are still struggling to fill shelves.
At the ABC store at Stonebridge Plaza in Chesterfield, customers found row after row of empty shelves. Tawni Schilling, a shopper at the store, said her favorite spirits have been out of stock since November.
“Can’t find Hennessy, can’t find Courvoisier anywhere, since like Thanksgiving,” she said.
Supply chain issues, like imports being hung up at the port, combined with delivery delays and the recent holidays is making it difficult for Virginia ABC employees to restock the shelves.
Travis Hill, Virginia ABC’s CEO, said inventory is normally lower after holidays. However, he said stores are experiencing an all-time shortage recently, with 255 items out of stock.
“What COVID did with the supply chain disruptions, it just doubled on it,” Hill said.
ABC carries more than 5,000 products and employees are trying to find customers an alternative beverage when they can. Hill is hopeful relief is on the way.
“We had some truck go out on Saturday in the Richmond area, we got more out today,” Hill said.
Still, he said from what he hears, it’s going to be a while before the booze is back lining the shelves.
“It may be the middle of ’22 or beyond before we really start to see predictable shipments,” Hill said.
Booze is big business for the Commonwealth, Virginia ABC had record sales in fiscal year 2021, generating more than $616 million in revenue . Sales went up by 14% from 2020. Hill credits and thanks to Virginia ABC employees for the success. He says they’ve worked through multiple challenges since the pandemic started in 2020.
However, Hill said he thinks growth will slow this year because of these supply issues but that Virginia ABC will still generate revenue for the state.