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Overwhelming demand for online liquor sales

Since the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board launched online sales, most people have gotten a message that says the store is not available

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board launched online sales a week and a half ago, as physical state stores remain closed. Since then, most visitors to the Fine Wine and Good Spirits website have gotten a message that says the store is not available, and to check back later. 

PLCB officials said they're doing the best they can given the circumstances.

On April 1st, the State resumed online liquor sales, which meant customers could log on and place an order of up to 6 bottles max. However, a majority of users are met with the page that doesn't allow them to go any further.

"There's an overwhelming demand," Shawn Kelly, Press Secretary for the PLCB, said. "We are working very hard to meet that demand. We understand there are more customers who would like to have access and purchase these products."

Over the past 9 days, the PCLB has had 11,400 orders, 2.3 million active site users more than 14.6 million web pages views, and, it's fulfilled 30% of the online orders it would normally accept over an entire fiscal year.

So, how do you become one of the chosen ones? Unfortunately, it's chosen at random. Which the PCLB said, is fair.

"The reason we're doing it this way is, if we were to announce that we were to start sales at a certain time, the website would crash, a limited number of people would get through, and many more people would be frustrated," Kelly said. "We would expect demand to disappear in minutes, if not seconds."

The PLCB hopes to ramp up orders. In fact, it already has. Day 1 it took 684 orders, Thursday it took 1,700.

In a conference call, Governor Wolf acknowledged the State didn't get the liquor situation right by closing the state stores and opening up a limited online sales system. He said they are continuing to work on that.

As a reminder, people can get beer and wine at grocery stores and convenience stores that have proper permits, however, they won't be able to get spirits.