Postmates Adds Alcohol To California Delivery Services

By McCarton Ackerman 01/27/17

Postmates is partnering with liquor stores for the delivery initiative.

Person looking at alcohol on tablet device.

The wildly popular delivery service and mobile app, Postmates, is hoping to expand business by improving its booze menu.

Recode reported that starting Wednesday (Jan. 25), San Francisco and Los Angeles residents can purchase a larger selection of alcohol products through the app, for delivery.

Postmates recruited a greater number of liquor and convenience stores for the initiative, giving them a tablet to sync inventory and branded Postmates bags to place the alcohol in. Couriers then pick up the delivery and bring it to the customer’s door in as little as 25 minutes, in addition to scanning IDs to make sure they’re of legal drinking age.

A $2.99 delivery fee and 9% service fee will be charged to customers for alcohol orders of $30 or less, but those fees are waived for booze deliveries that cost more.

“We’re doing two million deliveries a month and are two or three weeks away from a billion dollar [gross merchandise volume] run rate,” said CEO Bastian Lehmann. “We feel like the time is right to really take new categories seriously.”

Since launching in 2011, Postmates has raised $280 million in venture capital. This year, they expect to generate $10 million in revenue from alcohol sales alone.

However, the company will have several other competitors in the growing alcohol delivery market—like Boston-based Drizly and Amazon Prime.

Last year, former boy bander Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers became an investor of the California-based alcohol delivery app Saucey. Portland, Oregon even has its own alcohol delivery service called goBooze. The on-demand alcohol category can be found within the goPuff app, a service which "delivers virtually thousands of convenience items" including hookahs and vaporizers.

Whiskey company Southern Comfort has gone the extra mile by announcing in April 2015 that customers in select cities can receive their products via drone. Four years of trial testing and research were conducted before permits were secured to use unmanned aerial vehicles for their "SoCo 2Go" drone delivery program.

The unique delivery service comes at no charge and the website cheekily notes that, “Our initial trials of aerial delivery have actually shown to reduce some ‘overhead.'"

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.