₹20 cr. liquor sale in just five hours

People could be seen waiting outside wine stores from 6 a.m. onwards on Wednesday too.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

It was the most unexpected tsunami that hit the 460 odd wine shops in Greater Hyderabad in recent times. But, it also brought in a windfall of nothing short of ₹20 crore in flat five hours on Tuesday.

Minutes after the lockdown announcement, a section of people devoted all their energies to buy their choicest liquor. From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, it was a mad rush at the liquor outlets in the city. On Wednesday too, people could be seen waiting from 6 a.m. onwards for the wine stores to open.

Flood of customers

“As it is the night curfew had hit our business so hard. Usually, the peak time for sale is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. With the restrictions in place, our revenue had dropped in the last three weeks to 50%. But, yesterday we saw an unexpected flood of customers,” said a wine shop owner in Secunderabad.

A wine shop licencee said that on an average, each outlet generates a sale between ₹4-5 lakh daily during normal times. The COVID-19 too had hit the business.

If a former trade body representative is to be believed, one particular super liquor mall in the city selling premium brands raked in a revenue of ₹3 crore alone in few hours.

The four-hour morning relaxation is of no use to liquor outlets in twin cities. “May be a few hundreds of labourers and others might make a beeline to the shops in the morning hours. For the shops located in prime areas, it is unusual for well-to-do family members coming and buying liquor between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” a wine shop dealer wishing anonymity said.

The licencees are a confused lot on how to get the stocks delivered after the lockdown timings begin. They are worried that their staff cannot venture out after 10 a.m. or stay put in the shops, which are closed.

In the meantime, a senior official of the Telangana State Beverages’ Corporation Limited said that lockdown will not be applicable to the depots that will function at usual timings.

Stock despatch

“Arrangements are made to despatch stocks from depots from 4 a.m. onwards. Licencees can bill the stocks which shall be unloaded at their premises between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” the order said.

An TSBCL depot manager said they had decided to supply stocks to 26 outlets on Wednesday. “Except for some wine shops, none of the bars and restaurants in our limits placed orders,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 10:04:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/20-cr-liquor-sale-in-just-five-hours/article34545573.ece

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