HyVee

Hy-Vee plans to deliver alcohol to doorsteps in Omaha and Lincoln as it seeks to expand its grocery delivery service.

Hy-Vee plans to deliver alcohol to doorsteps in Omaha and Lincoln as it seeks to expand its grocery delivery service by opening a new fulfillment center in Sarpy County.

But the head of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission has some questions for the Des Moines-based grocery store chain before it starts delivering six-packs and booze.

Bruce Bailey, the chairman of the three-member liquor board, said that among the questions are how will Hy-Vee delivery people check to make sure buyers are old enough to purchase alcohol?

Overall, Bailey said he'd like to see the convenience of beer and liquor deliveries, and it appears state law allows it, "but there's some issues we have to work through."

On Wednesday, the Liquor Commission was presented Hy-Vee’s plan to begin providing deliveries of alcohol. The commission asked the firm to craft a memorandum of understanding of how they would handle such deliveries.

The chain is hoping to reach agreement with the commission before its new fulfillment facility opens in June, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Tina Potthoff said. If approved, any customer who is currently able to have groceries delivered in the Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs areas will also be able to order alcohol. The person delivering the alcohol will be required to check the customer for an I.D. that offers proof of age.

The fulfillment center will be at 11651 S. 154th St., southeast of the Interstate 80 and Highway 370 interchange. The facility, which will not be open to the public for shopping, is currently hiring for about 500 positions. The company has posted job openings at the facility on its website.

As it currently exists, Hy-Vee’s same-day grocery delivery service, Aisles Online, does not deliver alcohol. Employees at participating stores pull items from their shelves or stock rooms and either deliver groceries or make them available for in-store pickup.

The new facility will centralize that. All Aisles Online orders will be processed at the fulfillment center, just like Amazon might package goods for delivery. Then workers at the facility will deliver groceries to a customer’s house or their home store for pickup, largely removing individual store employees from the equation.

The chain has opened a similar fulfillment center in Des Moines within the past two years, and it has permission to deliver alcohol, but has not yet started doing so.

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