Utah has opened its first liquor store designed to let customers order booze online and pick it up on-site — if the Legislature decides to fund the pilot program.
Officials for the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control cut the ribbon Monday on the new liquor and wine store, in West Valley City’s High Market Shopping Center at 5432 W. High Market Drive. The location is equipped to handle DABC’s pilot program, called Click ‘n’ Collect — which will allow customers to order liquor online and pick it up in the store.
The program’s launch is dependent on the Utah Legislature funding it in this year’s budget. The DABC is asking for around $3.2 million to launch the pilot program. The budget has not yet passed through the Legislature, whose regular session ends Friday.
“We have a week left of the session, and we are cautiously optimistic that we will be successful with that funding,” said Tiffany Clason, DABC’s executive director.
Clason said the money would go toward IT infrastructure to support a robust e-commerce site with a secure payment system. Once the digital infrastructure is running, the Click ‘n’ Collect program would launch at the West Valley store, as well as between three and five existing stores.
If the Legislature approves the funding, Clason said, work on the digital infrastructure could start in July — and, Clason said, DABC hopes to launch the service in the summer of 2023.
The new West Valley City location functions like any other state liquor store, so customers can shop for liquor, wine and higher-alcohol beers in person. The store even has refrigerated cases for beer — something many state liquor stores did not have for many years.
The location, Clason said, is expected to generate $3 million in sales the first year, and $300,000 in local sales tax revenue for West Valley City and Salt Lake County.
The new store also includes, Clason said, “a back-of-house area, so that our staff can pick the products for an order, and then box them up and place them in a special place front of house — sort of like a will-call area.”
Under the rules for Click ‘n’ Collect, a customer would have to walk inside the store to pick up the purchase — and store clerks would have to verify that the customer is the same person who made the order online.
Once the service is running, Clason said, “someone could on their lunch break log on, place their order, work the rest of the afternoon and then get off work, drive straight to the store, go into the store — but instead of having to wait in line, they can go to this special pick-up area. They do the ID check — a safe ID has been established — then that customer will be able to walk away with their items that they ordered.”