Why Won’t Walmart Deliver Alcohol?

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In a world where convenience is king, the ability to get groceries – including alcohol – delivered to your doorstep is a game-changer. Many retail giants offer this service, but one question that often comes up is, “Why won’t Walmart deliver alcohol?” The answer to this question is multi-layered and involves understanding the complex web of federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern alcohol sales and delivery.


Walmart does deliver alcohol, but not in all states due to a complex web of federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing alcohol sales and delivery. Currently, they offer this service in 23 states, with conditions varying based on local laws. Four states – Alabama, Utah, Kentucky, and Mississippi – do not allow alcohol delivery at all. Customers ordering alcohol must be at least 21 years old and present a valid ID at delivery.

Alcohol Delivery: A Complex Regulatory Landscape

To begin with, it’s important to note that Walmart does, in fact, deliver alcohol in certain states and under specific conditions. The company has expanded its alcohol delivery service to nearly 2,500 stores across 23 states, including Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, and Ohio. The types of alcohol available for delivery and the hours during which alcohol can be delivered depend on local laws. Some states only allow beer and wine delivery, while others have blanket bans on all alcohol deliveries.

However, there are four states that do not allow alcohol delivery with no exceptions: Alabama, Utah, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Delaware and Rhode Island do not allow alcohol delivery, but there are some exceptions that make delivery possible.

To order alcohol for delivery, customers must be at least 21 years old and provide a valid government-issued photo ID upon receiving the order. Walmart will remove alcohol from the orders of those who cannot prove they are of legal drinking age, appear intoxicated, or appear to give alcohol to someone under 21.

How Does This Compare to Other Retailers?

Walmart’s approach to alcohol delivery differs from other chains in that it leverages its extensive network of stores across the United States. With 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart store, the company has a significant advantage in terms of proximity to customers.

However, other retailers have also made strides in alcohol delivery. H-E-B introduced wine and beer delivery using Favor, an on-demand delivery service it acquired in 2018. Instacart, a popular grocery delivery service, also offers alcohol delivery from various stores.

The Challenges of Alcohol Delivery

Alcohol delivery is not without its challenges. Ensuring that alcohol is sold or delivered only to consumers above the age of 21 is a crucial requirement. Walmart would need to implement a robust age verification process for both online orders and at the point of delivery.

Furthermore, some states have specific restrictions on the types of alcoholic beverages that can be delivered, such as allowing only beer and wine deliveries but not spirits. Walmart would need to adapt its delivery offerings based on the local laws and regulations.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Alcohol Delivery at Walmart

The potential for future changes in Walmart’s alcohol delivery policy could be influenced by several factors:

  1. Changes in local and state liquor laws: Further expansions or restrictions in alcohol delivery services could be driven by changes in liquor laws across different states.
  2. Consumer demand: An increase in consumer demand for alcohol delivery services, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, could encourage Walmart to expand its alcohol delivery services further.
  3. Competition: The growth of alcohol delivery services like Drizly and the entry of other major retailers into the alcohol delivery market could influence Walmart’s strategy in this area.
  4. Technological advancements: Improvements in delivery technology, such as the use of drones or autonomous vehicles, could impact Walmart’s alcohol delivery services in the future.

In conclusion, while there are potential benefits to Walmart delivering alcohol, the company would need to carefully navigate the regulatory landscape and implement strict policies to ensure compliance and prevent misuse. The future of alcohol delivery at Walmart is likely to be shaped by a combination of regulatory changes, consumer demand, competition, and technological advancements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Walmart deliver alcohol internationally?

No, currently Walmart’s alcohol delivery service is only available in the United States and is subject to local laws and regulations.

What types of alcohol does Walmart deliver?

The types of alcohol Walmart delivers depend on local laws. Some states only allow beer and wine delivery, while others allow all types of alcohol.

Can I order alcohol from Walmart online for in-store pickup?

Yes, Walmart offers a pickup option for alcohol in certain locations. However, like delivery, this is subject to local and state laws.

How does Walmart verify age for alcohol delivery?

Walmart requires customers to provide a valid government-issued photo ID upon receiving the order. If the customer cannot prove they are of legal drinking age, appears intoxicated, or appears to give alcohol to someone under 21, Walmart will remove the alcohol from the order.

How does Walmart handle alcohol delivery during holidays?

Walmart’s alcohol delivery service operates in accordance with local laws, which may vary during holidays. It’s best to check with your local Walmart store for specific holiday delivery rules.

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