Wine shop owners in favour of using own staff for delivery

‘Excise rules don’t allow e-commerce platforms to deliver alcohol’

Members of the Maharashtra Wine Shop Association are in favour of using their own staff to deliver alcohol rather than use e-commerce platforms and app-based delivery aggregators.

A day after the Brihanamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allowed wine stores to undertake home delivery of alcohol in the city, close to 35 wine stores provided the service, all with their own staff, on Saturday. Of the 475 wine stores in Mumbai, 130 were in a position to start home delivery early next week, said the association.

Maharashtra Wine Shop Association president Dilip Giyanani said most of its members were of the view that they would use their own men to deliver alcohol to customers.

“The excise rules do not allow e-commerce platforms to deliver alcohol. Delivery in Thane and Kalyan have been smooth. It will take a few days to normalise,” Mr. Giyanani said.

No service fee

Randip Singh Munjral of Shah Wines near Crawford Market said that delivery will remain with the wine shops as margins do not permit sharing revenue with e-commerce players.

Mr. Munjral explained that the government order made it clear that sales would be as per MRP and there would be no service fee to be levied.

“We have manpower and infrastructure issues such as staff living in suburbs, getting travel permits and other things. All this is in the process,” Mr. Giyanani said.

A majority of wine store owners are of the opinion that once e-commerce players enter the area of alcohol deliveries they might end up eating into their (wine stores) business in the long run and might work their way for tie-ups with distributors.

Most wine store owners said home delivery was being done only after proper verification of liquor permits of the consumer and alcohol would not be sold to those under age. Some wine stores also advised clients to use the Aarogya Setu App.

Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary (Excise), said the step was taken to ensure social distancing and avoid crowding in the shops. “Home delivery has since been carried out smoothly all over the State. This is why we have started home delivery and e-commerce of liquor in Mumbai from Saturday,” she said.

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