|This is Amazon's "liquor store" in Sunnyvale: a table with a button|
But on my visit, I discovered Amazon was openly flouting that law.
Then I visited two other stores and discovered Amazon's practices had changed overnight, and it is doing the absolute bare minimum to follow the law.
I can't be an Amazon watchdog all over the state. This is where you come in.
Do you want to check to see if Amazon is following the law? It's easy!
All you have to do is go to one of its stores in the middle of the day and see if you can buy a bottle of wine. You don't even have to buy the wine (I did, and the wine unfortunately isn't very good.) You can walk away before giving them your credit card.
|This is the entire list of wine and beer offered for sale at Amazon's Sacramento liquor "store." The warehouse offers 230 wines and 82 whiskies for delivery.|
Amazon has liquor licenses for seven "stores" adjacent to its warehouses. Here is a link to them.
Their near-identical licenses require the "stores" to be open for half the time that the warehouse delivers wine and spirits, which currently means 8 hours a day for all of them.
Here are the addresses:
Irvine: 2006 McGaw Ave, Irvine, CA, 92614
Los Angeles (2 stores): 11800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90064
|This is the entrance to the Amazon liquor "store" on San Fernando Rd in Los Angeles. It was not open to the public when I visited, in violation of state law.|
Redondo Beach: 2400 Marine Ave Ste 108, Redondo Beach, CA, 90278
Sacramento: 2934 Ramona Ave Ste 100, Sacramento, CA, 95826
San Diego: 2727 Kurtz St, San Diego, CA, 92110
|This is the entrance to the Amazon liquor "store" in Sunnyvale.|
Maybe it's not important that Amazon follows the law, even though the law was apparently written specifically to prevent a big company from dominating the wine and spirits delivery business by operating warehouses without the expense of a brick-and-mortar store. It's not the world's most pressing issue.
But I don't like big tech companies ignoring the law in their quest for market domination.
It is odd for me to write these stories about Amazon, because I shop from Amazon online fairly frequently and I sometimes post links here to products for sale on Amazon, to reap a small percentage of online sales from people clicking. And on the same day I went to Sacramento to see Amazon's mockery of a liquor "store," I pulled out my Kindle to try to convince an older friend that reading on the dedicated Amazon device is better than reading a book.
That's how deeply the Big Four tech companies have their hooks in our lives. Apple made my laptops and my phone, and thus it knows everything about me, though I do trust it with my data a bit more than the other three. Google used the offer of a check to coerce me to give it my social security number, and then it canceled the check, yet still I have a gmail account. It scares me that when I book a flight on a completely unrelated website Google shows off its knowledge of my plans immediately at the top of my mailbox. I don't trust Google, but still I use it.
I despise Facebook but I haven't yet walked away from it, mainly because status updates have replaced phone conversations with many of my friends. I hate this, but still I'm on it.
And as for Amazon, I wanted to order some household stuff but I've been holding off while investigating its liquor stores.
But now I'm done! (Or maybe I'm not! Let Amazon wonder if I might visit again. I do have other wine issues to pursue, though.) And it's your turn.
If one of these Amazon liquor "stores" is near you, drop by and see if you can buy some crappy wine there. Amazon might not like complying with the law but it has to do so if somebody is watching.
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