Grocery delivery: Shipt can deliver alcohol in NC | The Herald Sun – Durham Herald Sun

Shipt, a grocery delivery service that began operating in North Carolina last year, temporarily halted one if its biggest selling points – bringing beer and wine to its customers’ doorstep – in recent weeks because of legal uncertainties.

Deliveries will resume soon now that those questions have apparently been resolved, a spokeswoman for the company says.

The confusion illustrates how relatively new the grocery delivery market is. Shipt started working with Harris Teeter stores in Charlotte last November and in the Triangle in April. Beginning Thursday, it will also deliver from Lidl stores in the Triangle, Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

There are many such enterprises around the country, including Instacart, Deliv, Postmates, Greenbean Delivery, CheckList, Curbside Direct and Walmart Grocery. Shipt, a membership-based company, was started in 2014 and is now in more than 70 markets, partnering with various local stores.

Questions about the legality of beer and wine deliveries in North Carolina developed when company representatives heard at an industry event that the state could be interpreting laws in a new way that would prohibit companies from delivering alcohol.

But that isn’t the case.

State law has long required that alcohol be purchased from a store with a state Alcohol Beverage Commission permit, either in person, by phone or internet. An intermediary cannot deliver the alcohol in exchange for money outside the permitted store.

To get around that prohibition, a delivery service must have a payment arrangement with a grocery store not a customer, according to ABC spokeswoman Agnes Stevens. The intention is to ensure that the transaction takes place at the store not the doorstep.

Shipt decided to halt its beer and wine deliveries until the legal implications could be sorted out and determine whether any “internal processes” needed to be changed, the spokeswoman said.

Shipt customers pay

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