The Mississippi ABC has experienced unprecedented growth in its liquor orders over the last four months, the Mississippi Department of Revenues said Friday in a release.

“We are experiencing a 29% increase in case sales. We have shipped over 1,330,000 cases of wine and spirits in the last 4 months. This has resulted in orders taking an average of one week for delivery. We currently have approximately 100,000 cases in our system waiting to be delivered,” the release stated.

In the effort to catch up with the orders, the ABC is temporarily suspending the ability to place liquor orders beginning today, July 10th.

“We will continue to ship every day next week to get these orders out and will resume regular ordering July 20th,” the department noted. “We appreciate your patience while we work to get caught up and resume the next day delivery to which our partners have become accustomed.​”

The full order is below.

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 has taken 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 high demands from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Release from the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

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***UPDATE:

The Department of Revenue has reversed course and will NOT suspend order for 10 days.

Here is their latest release:

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.