Forget about the coronavirus, a small glass ? Or two, or three ? Sales of wine and spirits have increased with the rise of stress and anxiety in New York city, the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, where the cocktails are virtual alternative to the traditional ” Happy Hour “.
Fearing initially a closing of the stores of wines and spirits to address the epidemic of coronavirus (which has already caused nearly 200 deaths in New York State and more than 800 in the United States) the New Yorkers, and Americans in general, began to buy wines and other alcoholic beverages in large quantities.
The wine shops happy
What is good news for owners of stores of wines and spirits. As Friday, the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has placed on the list of businesses deemed “essential” were allowed to stay open in spite of the containment measures.
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“The clients are they anxious ? Everyone is anxious, and we’re here to relieve their anxiety, ” said to AFP the consultant in wines, Randy, Ray, store, Fine Wines are First, the heart of Manhattan.
“It’s better than other alternatives, if you know what I mean “, he added, delighted of non-routine sales made by his store near the seat of the United Nations.
For Evan Cuciniello, store associate at Ambassador Wines, people are buying more to build up reserves as for eating more, due to the stress generated by confinement, telecommuting, or job loss.
“Before, we sold to a client one or two bottles, now it sells several boxes,” said Mr. Cuciniello.
“When Broadway is closed, when the basketball tournament of March Madness and the matches of the NBA have been cancelled, people have responded by saying “it looks serious “, added Daniel Tallman, store manager Sutton Wine.
The association of liquor stores of the State of New York has confirmed that sales had increased significantly, without being able to give precise figures.
“A lot of people drink wine while eating, for them it is a habit. They would have been embarrassed if the alcohol had been declared non-essential. The governor has made the right decision “, told AFP its president Stefan Kalogridis.
With the closure of bars and restaurants, people consume more alcohol in them. And to combat the loneliness, the invitations are multiplying to take a “quarantini” (cocktail made from the liquor available) a “happy hour” virtual friends, colleagues or even strangers, through platforms like FaceTime, Google Hangout or Zoom.
5 to 7 online
“I made a 5 a 7 with friends via Google Hangout, it was very nice “, told AFP Lindsey Andrews, president of Minibar Delivery, a company of sale of liquor, on-line book across the United States.
On Monday 16 march, after the city council announced the closure of schools, bars and restaurants, and the day on which the stock exchange in new york has experienced its worst fall since the 2008 financial crisis, the sales of Minibar Delivery has more than doubled (+131%) compared to the previous Monday, she said.
“I have a lot of clients who work on Wall Street. They are very stressed by the fall of the stock exchanges, they buy a lot. And they are not that store, they drink a lot, ” says another store manager, not wanting to reveal his name.
“When all this is completed, the detox centres will earn a lot of money,” he predicts.
Arnold Washton, a psychologist and expert in addictions, which follows several Wall Street executives, confirms that some of its customers drink more than before.
At the beginning, one of them drank least, thanks to teleworking, but now he finds his friends through the app Zoom in ” for a chat, drink for an hour and get drunk “, he confided to AFP.
Another of his patients, a lawyer who had not had a drink for two years, had purchased a home in anticipation of his annual bonus. He was hospitalized last week in a detoxification unit after having learned that his company would not remit any bonus this year.
“I’m a little surprised that the liquor stores stay open,” said Mr. Washton. “But I understand that the government is afraid of riots if he closed them “.