JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has decided it will not temporarily pause new liquor orders and special orders.
ABC sent a letter to permittees Friday informing them ABC would pause all orders until Monday, July 20.
The pause was to help ease the load on ABC's warehouse lines and employees.
However, early Friday afternoon ABC revoked the pause.
To our ABC Partners
The Mississippi ABC made a decision to temporarily suspend our liquor ordering system to try to remedy the unprecedented backlog of orders currently in our system. This step would have allowed permittees to receive prior orders during the week of July 13th but not place new orders during this week. This action was needed catch up with the increased demand we have experienced over the last four months.
We have received numerous concerns from you, our partners, over this step and are taking another look at our options. In the meantime, we will be bringing our order system back on line today with the same order limits that were previously in place. Our hope is to find a solution that will allow the ABC to clear up the backlog while still providing our customers with the services they need to keep their businesses running smoothly.
Please be aware that with the current orders in our system, you will experience delivery times of one week or more until we can find a way to get this backlog cleared. We thank you for your patience with us while we search for a viable solution to meet everyone’s needs. We know we are all in this together.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are far reaching and have affected many supply chain industries worldwide. Mississippi is not immune to these effects, as the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control has experienced record liquor sales coupled with suppliers struggling to maintain inventory nationwide. Since March 2, 2020, the Mississippi ABC has shipped over 1,330,000 cases of wines & spirits for an average daily shipment of 19,112 cases. This represents an increase of nearly 300,000 additional cases shipped compared to the same time period of the prior year for an increase of 29%. The ABC warehouse lines are designed to hold 17,000 cases, which leaves ABC employees continuously filling the lines on top of shipping record cases every night. The demand hastaken its toll on not only ABC’s equipment but also its employees. ABC added two overtime days in April, May, and June for a total of six additional shifts for both the day crew and night crew. To further complicate matters, ABC has experienced out of stock inventory for a number of items that the suppliers are having difficulty keeping in stock due to the inflated demands. In a state that permittees are accustomed to receiving liquor orders within 1-2 days of ordering (excluding weekends and holidays), customers are now waiting one week on average for deliveries to arrive.
In an effort to better serve all Mississippi liquor permittees, beginning Friday, July 10, 2020 at 2:00am, the Mississippi Department of Revenue is temporarily suspending all new liquor orders and special orders until Monday, July 20, 2020. Permittees will still have access to TAP and will be able to use all other functions, but there will be no access to the “New Order” links for retail and special orders. This will allow all liquor orders already placed to be shipped out to clear the system of orders, which will in turn minimize the delays in shipping that all liquor permittees are currently experiencing. It will also allow ABC to restock inventory on a large number of out of stock and understocked items. The Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control prides itself on providing great customer service, and we strongly believe this strategy will aid in our ability to return to the normal delivery schedule that was expected prior to the highdemands from the COVID-19 pandemic.