Coronavirus spurs massive spike in SA’s online alcohol sales

South Africans are stocking up on alcohol supplies online in unprecedented numbers in preparation for the government’s lifting of the lockdown ban on alcohol sales in Level 3.

Despite liquor retailers only being able to deliver in Level 3, Business Insider reports that online alcohol sales are booming, with items virtually flying off shelves at record pace.

Dry Dock Liquor, a boutique wine and liquor retailer in Johannesburg’s trendy Parkhurst, has reported exponential growth in their online offering.

“In the last week we’ve had over 100,000 orders,” co-founder Martin Pienaar told Business Insider. has seen the number of online orders and value per order triple since lockdown. While one of SA’s biggest online wine sellers,, has reported that its sales for April were at almost 70% of the previous year, COO Johan Wegner told Netwerk24.

Clyde Ackerman, Co-founder of Thirst Bar Services, accounts this incredible demand to the fact that people want to ensure they’ll receive their favourite spirits as soon as alcohol is permitted to be sold again without the headache of long queues or concerns that their preferred drink is out of stock. He adds that many want to avoid the risk of going to the shops all together, rather choosing to have their alcohol safely delivered directly to their door.

Thirst, whose core business focus is events, has pivoted its business offerings in various innovative ways due to the COVID-19 outbreak, one of which is alcohol pre-sales.

“The response has been phenomenal. We’re attracting a new audience of people and anticipate this trend to stick long after Coronavirus disappears due to the ease and convenience associated with home alcohol delivery. This is echoed by recent insights from Kantar who estimate that 30% of new customers who try buying booze through e-commerce for the first time during the pandemic will remain long-term users,” comments Thirst Co-Founder Rael Lasarow.

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