Trump Admin, Senate Reach $2 Trillion Stimulus Deal to Combat COVID-19 Impact

Dear Client: 

COVID-19 has certainly put some stress on the economy, and has many individuals and industries clamoring for federal relief. Indeed, bev alc trade groups have pushed for inclusion in any coronavirus stimulus package [see WSD 03-19-2020].  

Early this morning, the Trump Administration and the Senate reached a deal on a $2 trillion economic stimulus package – that’s trillion with a “t”. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “wartime level of investment for our nation,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it’s the “largest rescue package in American history,” reports CNN. 

The full details of the package have yet to be released, but, according to CNN, elements of the deal include:

  • $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families
  • $350 billion in small business loans
  • $250 billion in unemployment benefits
  • $500 billion in loans for distressed companies

Sen. McConnell said the Senate would move to pass it later on today. No vote has taken place by presstime. 

Most likely, the House will vote on it tomorrow. 

We’ll have more as information rolls in. 

CONTROL STATE TRENDS ACCELERATE IN FEBRUARY

Control state trends continued to accelerate in February. Spirits volumes were up 5% and sales were up just over 8% for the month, according to recent NABCA data. 

February’s results were impacted by calendar and operational-related anomalies. Overall, there were 18 additional selling days this February compared to last year thanks to leap year. After equivalizing, spirits volumes were up 2.4% and sales were up 5.4%. 

The cocktails and tequila categories have been trading off on who’s growing the fastest. Cocktails was the fastest growing spirits category in February with 18.6% growth, followed by tequila at 13.3% growth. Other categories growth rates:

  • Domestic whiskey, 10.2%
  • Irish whiskey, 8.2%
  • Vodka, 5.3%
  • Cordials, 2.9%
  • Gin, 1.1%
  • Brandy/Cognac, 0.4%
  • Canadian whiskey, 0.3%
  • Scotch, 0.3%
  • Rum, -0.3%

Meanwhile, wine volumes continue to improve, up 2.6% for the month with a rolling 12-month trend of -2%. 

DENVER MAYOR REVERSES DECISION TO CLOSE LIQUOR STORES AND DISPENSARIES

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock quickly reversed his decision to include liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries as ‘non-essential’ businesses earlier this week. 

On Monday, the Denver mayor announced that liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries would close as part of the city’s attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ on the spread of COVID-19. In response, Denver residents “swarmed” their local liquor stores and dispensaries to stock up, reports the Denver Post. Some stores even reported lines a block long minutes after the mayor’s initial announcement. 

Later that night, the mayor announced that the stores would stay open “with extreme physical distancing in place.” 

You may recall, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is also reconsidering the order to shut down the state-run liquor stores [see WSD 03-23-2020]. 

Most other states have already deemed liquor stores essential as well as bev alc producers and wholesalers.

ABL: CALL FOR INTERSTATE RETAILER SHIPPING IS “CRASSLY OPPORTUNISTIC”

Yesterday, National Association of Wine Retailers executive director Tom Wark called to open up interstate shipping [see WSD 03-24-2020]. In response, American Beverage Licensees executive director John Bodnovich issued his own statement, saying NAWR’s call for interstate shipping is “crassly opportunistic.” 

“NAWR couches its statement as a righteous attack on wine and spirits wholesalers who had the audacity to call on governors to deem beer, wine and spirits retailers ‘essential businesses’ and urge states to take modest steps to allow limited and temporary pick-up and delivery options for bars, taverns and restaurants,” writes John. “Apparently, respectfully suggesting a thoughtful and measured approach when it comes to retail alcohol regulations during this crisis is a grievous sin.” 

He continues: “Instead of putting aside ideological beliefs, NAWR instead chooses to put on display naked opportunism and disregard for public safety in the name of its free market prerogative…. What we should all be doing right now is encouraging everyone to support their local bars, restaurants and taverns in a safe and responsible way. These are our friends and neighbors and they need our support now more than ever.”

WSD BRIEF:

RNDC MATCHES PERNOD’S DONATION TO BARTENDERS’ GUILD. Republic National Distributing Co. is matching Pernod Ricard USA’s $500,000 donation to the US Bartenders’ Guild COVID-19 relief campaign. “We hope our combined donation will help the USBG members who have been severely impacted by the current health emergency,” says Tom Cole, president and ceo of RNDC and Young’s Market Co.

Until tomorrow,
Sarah

“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” – Mitchell Kapor 

——- Sell Day Calendar ———
Today’s Sell Day: 18
Sell days this month: 22
Sell days this month last year: 21
This month ends on a: Tues.
This month last year ended on a: Fri.
YTD sell days Over/Under: +1