Pandemic ‘pivot’ leads to $2M in delivery sales for Edina Liquor

Before the pandemic, Edina Liquor received about 10 to 20 home delivery orders per day, but that number is closer to 40 or 50 now.

That enormous uptick in sales has employees like Sheelan Patel with their hands full.

"The busier we are, the more fun we have and the quicker the day goes by," said Patel.

Edina Liquor has three city-owned stores. It started a delivery service in May of 2019, but it didn’t really take off until the following March, when they closed their doors for seven weeks, but left their online delivery open after Gov. Tim Walz closed all bars and restaurants to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The city says it was a total "pivot" in its business model.

In 2019, delivery sales totaled $70,000 for Edina Liquor. In 2020, that number was $2 million.

City officials say the pandemic helped fuel that growth along with changing consumer expectations as the municipal liquor store found itself competing with third-party delivery apps and companies like Amazon, which bring just about anything customers want to their door.

The city believes the delivery model is the future.