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Amazon Starts One-Hour Booze Delivery in Manhattan

December 10, 2015, 4:37 PM UTC
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Manhattanites desperate to get their hands on booze quickly are in luck: (AMZN) on Thursday began offering one-hour delivery of beer, wine, and spirits to members of its Prime subscription service who use the Prime Now mobile app.

One-hour delivery costs $7.99, and two-hour service is free, Amazon said. Prime Now, a one-hour delivery service available only to Prime members, is available in 23 cities such as Dallas, Chicago, and Nashville.

Manhattan joins Seattle, Amazon’s hometown, among the ranks of markets in which Prime Now is offering alcohol delivery. An Amazon excutive told Re/code that the online retailer would like eventually to offer that service in 20 markets, but will need time given the complexity of local regulations. The e-commerce company also announced that it has added items from the trendy Italian supermarket Eataly to its selection of items available in Manhattan.

“We are excited to continue to expand our offerings whether that’s adding beer, wine and spirits in Manhattan starting today or continuing to increase the number of local stores and restaurants in the service,” said Stephenie Landry, worldwide director of Prime Now, in a statement. Prime Now was launched a year ago.

Amazon said that in Seattle, the top-selling beer is Elysian Brewing Company’s Space Dust IPA and the top selling wine is Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon.

And perhaps more ominously for brick-and-mortar retailers, Amazon said that Prime Now will be making deliveries up to midnight on Christmas Eve. Though Prime Now is still only a small sliver of Amazon’s business, that’s a serious, longer term threat to one of the few remaining advantages stores have over Amazon: the ability to use stores to serve panicked last-minute shoppers in the run-up to Christmas, and using stores as pick-up spots for items ordered by Dec. 23, a later cutoff for delivery than Amazon’s regular service.