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LCBO Express coming to seven grocery stores

Ontario is making it more convenient for people to buy alcohol in grocery stores with the first LCBO Express outlets to open by the end of 2014.

Located inside large grocery retailers, the smaller-format stores will carry a range of the LCBO’s best-selling beer, wine and spirits, including Ontario craft beer and VQA wine.

Retailers interested in responding to the proposal must be able to accommodate at least 2,000 square feet of retail space for the LCBO within their existing store.

The LCBO issued a Request for Proposals April 1 for up to seven Express stores and will be accepting proposals until May 9, 2014.

The  estimated value of Ontario’s beverage alcohol market in 2012-13 is $10 billion.

“Ontarians have been asking for greater access and convenience to buy their favourite beer, bottle of wine, or spirit,” said Charles Sousa, minister of finance. “These new Express stores are a way to balance that convenience with social responsibility while further supporting our local industries.”

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  1. Loretta says:

    Having been to many privately owned liquor stores in US, there is some thing to be said in favour of the LCBO system we have here. I can go to any one of the LCBO’s in Ontario and get a large variety from many countries around the world and the price is consistent. In the US, some of the brand name liqueurs and especially French wines were very expensive if the store even carried them. Prices varied widely from store to store. Looking for wines fom Africa? Australia? Spain? Portugal? Chile? Good luck with that. 99% of the wines were from California. Want a good Scotch selection? Or Irish Whiskey? Cognac? Lots of Kentucky bourbon and even some Canadian whiskies, but I was always disappointed in the overall selection. Having said that, for a nice California wine, their prices were soo much better than here. And yes, hours at private shops would be more responsive to local customer needs. I do miss the gifts that the LCBO got into but were forced to drop several years back, maybe if they could have made more profit in trinkets, the booze prices could be kept a bit lower. As for the argument that having alcohol available at a convenience or grocery store means more kids have access, teenagers always find a way.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    @IM Messanger – an attempt at satire – my take on what he likely meant in his announcement.

  3. IM Messenger says:

    Chris Keen,

    ” “Charles Sousa – what he says – “Ontarians have . . .” ”
    ” “What he means – “Many . . .” ” . . .

    Where did you find these statements of what Sousa’s meant? I’d like to read it all in context.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Charles Sousa – what he says –

    “Ontarians have been asking for greater access and convenience to buy their favourite beer, bottle of wine, or spirit.”

    What he means – “Many Ontarians have been asking that the sale of beer and alcohol be privatized. This is our way of avoiding that and insuring we achieve maximum revenue for our government.”

    Charles Sousa – what he said

    “These new Express stores are a way to balance that convenience with social responsibility while further supporting our local industries.”

    What he meant – “Of course privatization would provide consumers with the maximum convenience, but we are a paternalistic government continuing our nanny state traditions and you cannot be trusted to imbibe responsibly. We’re also hopeful this will provide some distraction from our on-going gas plant closure debacle.”

  5. IM Messenger says:

    Not much you can do about those hours. That’s a downer having to drive north to catch one open.

  6. Ken Globe says:

    The restrictions that are in place for a kiosk to open are really restrictive. And all the stores in the County are too close to existing LCBO outlets to be considered. I just wish they would extend the operating hours. Especially in the tourist months when long weekends are involved. I was in the Picton outlet on the Sunday of the August long weekend just before 4pm. At 4, with people walking up to the door, and cars pulling in the lot, they locked the entrances and shut the open sign off. Walking out, the latecomers were quite put off. I just saw lots of money leaving the place.

  7. IM Messenger says:

    “These new Express stores are a way to balance that convenience with social responsibility while further supporting our local industries.”

    There it is. All that can be said with implications from child conditioning, to health care, to profits. Corporation’s – follow the money.

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