The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is temporarily closing 78 stores and reducing hours at others today in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Because of staffing requirements and health concerns, we believe that closing some of our stores will provide the greatest amount of employee/customer protection, while ensuring maximum productivity and efficiency,” ABC’s government relations manager, Dean Argo, said in an email.
In 2018, ABC had 864 employees, according to Alabama State Personnel Department data. There are about 170 stores statewide
Argo said that staff at the shuttered stores would be moved to others nearby.
Stores remaining open will operate from noon to 7 p.m., Argo said.
Starting Wednesday, all stores will operate as “over the counter,” Argo said, to keep distance between customers and employees, and no more than five customers at a time will be allowed in a store.
Customers will not be allowed to get products from store shelves. Store personnel will ask customers for their order, retrieve it and bring it to check out.
Customers are being asked to pay with credit and debit cards, not cash.
As of Monday evening, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 29 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in the state. Seventeen of them are in Jefferson County, the state’s most populous county.
With many people are “social distancing,” as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested, others are stocking up on many things, including alcohol.
“Over the last week or so sales have been on the uptick,” Argo told Alabama Daily News on Monday. “I’m not saying that that is directly related to COVID-19, but I will say that sales are increasing.”
On Sunday, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a memo to state agency directors saying they should advise employees to work from home if possible. If working from home is not feasible, the employee should remain away from the workplace and practice social distancing, as appropriate, for the next several weeks, Ivey’s memo said.
Events and gatherings of more than 50 people are discouraged, and schools and colleges across the state have closed or moved classes online.STORE CLOSURES BY DISTRICT:DISTRICT 1:STORE 29, HELENASTORE 92, HOOVERSTORE 111, HOMEWOODSTORE 121, COLUMBIANASTORE 146, PELHAMSTORE 233, ALABASTERDISTRICT 2:STORE 30, TARRANT CITYSTORE 70, ROEBUCKSTORE 107, SPRINGVILLESTORE 143, CHALKVILLESTORE 230, PINSONDISTRICT 14:STORE 17, FAIRFIELDSTORE 18, BIRMINGHAMSTORE 26, BESSEMERSTORE 144, ADAMSVILLEDISTRICT 3:STORE 13, RAINBOW CITYSTORE 22, JACKSONVILLESTORE 94, ANNISTONSTORE 103, ASHVILLESTORE 122, ATTALASTORE 231, HEFLINDISTRICT 4:STORE 8, MOBILESTORE 62, MOBILESTORE 139, TILLMAN’S CORNERSTORE 164, MOBILESTORE 182, MOBILESTORE 234, MOBILEDISTRICT 5:STORE 33, OPELIKASTORE 52, UNION SPRINGSSTORE 131, LAFAYETTESTORE 226, OPELIKADISTRICT 6:STORE 3, MONTGOMERYSTORE 5, MONTGOMERYSTORE 112, HAYNEVILLESTORE 135, MONTGOMERYDISTRICT 7:STORE 6, GENEVASTORE 36, HEADLANDSTORE 71, CLAYTONSTORE 89, DOTHANSTORE 120, DALEVILLESTORE 126, DOTHANDISTRICT 8:STORE 82, NORTHPORTSTORE 100, MONTEVALLOSTORE 115, GREENSBOROSTORE 134, BRENTSTORE 138, TUSCALOOSASTORE 183, TUSCALOOSASTORE 227, ALICEVILLEDISTRICT 9:STORE 60, LIVINGSTONSTORE 61, SARALANDSTORE 93, EIGHT MILESTORE 117, LINDENSTORE 141, SEMMESSTORE 165, MOUNT VERNONDISTRICT 10:STORE 2, MONTGOMERYSTORE 12, MONTGOMERYSTORE 63, PIKE ROADSTORE 79, MILLBROOKSTORE 118, PRATTVILLESTORE 229, MONTGOMERYDISTRICT 11:STORE 7, SPANISH FORTSTORE 21, DAPHNESTORE 179, ROBERTSDALEDISTRICT 12:STORE 19, DECATURSTORE 48, MADISONSTORE 74, SHEFFIELDSTORE 149, FLORENCESTORE 151, HUNTSVILLESTORE 243, HARTSELLEDISTRICT 13:STORE 23, HUNTSVILLESTORE 24, HUNTSVILLESTORE 90, HUNTSVILLESTORE 97, BROWNSBOROSTORE 129, ALBERTVILLEDISTRICT 15:STORE 9, LINCOLNSTORE 27, CHILDERSBURGSTORE 57, LINEVILLE