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One stop shopping: alcohol in grocery stores

Tuesday, April 01, 2014   by: Staff



Mixing Alcohol and Local Foods

LCBO Express Stores Coming to Grocery Stores

Ontario is making it more convenient for people to buy local food and alcohol in grocery stores with the first LCBO Express stores 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.

Modernizing Ontario's liquor laws and supporting the domestic wine, beer and spirits industries are part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow.

The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships.

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

Quick Facts

  • Express stores will help the LCBO meet consumer demand for convenience.
  • The LCBO works in partnership with public health agencies to support education about the responsible use of alcohol and promote resources for persons seeking assistance.
  • The LCBO issued a Request for Proposals today for up to seven Express stores and will be accepting proposals until May 9, 2014.
  • The LCBO has a longstanding tradition of selling responsibly and also encouraging customers to serve and consume beverage alcohol products in moderation: in 2012-13, 7.8 million customers were challenged for proof of age or intoxication, and 322,000 were refused service by LCBO employees.
  • The total estimated value of Ontario’s beverage alcohol market in 2012-13 is $10 billion.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Beej 4/1/2014 1:36:44 PM Report

It's about damn time, we've been living in the stone age long enough.
Now, decriminalize marijuana and stop filling up the jails with people who shouldn't be there.
Zing 4/1/2014 1:42:03 PM Report

April Fools!
Right Winger 4/1/2014 1:43:26 PM Report


Still and LCBO store. Just within a grocery store. Likely its own checkout. Only difference is it is slightly more convenient.
soowat 4/1/2014 1:44:48 PM Report

This makes sense. It doesn't allow the greedy merchant to sell to minors for the almighty buck,but does give the consumer convenience
Hounds Fan 4/1/2014 1:49:07 PM Report

I think Metro in the Churchill Plaza should take advantage of this given the recently closed LCBO in the same area
itsme29 4/1/2014 1:50:21 PM Report

so maybe now we can close these lcbo stores we have in town?? let the grocery stores supply the manpower and heat and lights and help the tx payer save some money for once?? j/k that could never hpn
superior87 4/1/2014 1:51:52 PM Report

You think taxpayers LOSE money to the LCBO? Ha!
ThinkAgain 4/1/2014 1:55:50 PM Report

Don't think you'll ever see it in the Sault, our stores don't compare with big cities.
Good bye Deli Department, No more pizza take out, lol
Kub 4/1/2014 1:57:33 PM Report

"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."


KiwiOnASticK 4/1/2014 2:22:40 PM Report

Poor LCBO didn't like that the little VQA shops in grocery stores were cutting into their monopoly?
edz 4/1/2014 2:25:23 PM Report

its april fools ppl
KiwiOnASticK 4/1/2014 2:27:13 PM Report

This might actually be real. Unless other major news outlets are in on the same joke.
GoHoundsGo 4/1/2014 2:32:24 PM Report

Its time to end the Gov't monopoly on alcohal sales and the Big Brewers monopoly on the Beer Store as well. How does the LCBO cost us money? Simple, tax dollars paying for over paid cashiers, leases, power to light the buildings etc. Other Provinces ended these monopolies years ago and found it only increased revenues, and increased the actual role of regulating, inspecting and licensing. Also a decrease in cost to the consumer was experienced as well, I believe around 15%. The easiest way to reduce spending and taxes is to reduce the size of Gov't. Concentrate Gov't were it belongs, regulation, health care, essential services ie. infrastructure, police, fire, education and natural resources etc....not selling booze. And if you work at the LCBO or Beer Store and are upset with my pov...tough. I am the consumer and a free market and democracy decries monopolies. And if you work at the LCBO, my hard earned tax dollars should not be paying you to tell me what wine pairs best with what kind of fish,or cashing me out with my 5th of Vodka to drown my sorrows because I just saw my Tax bill. LOL jk on drowning my
B Boy 4/1/2014 2:47:25 PM Report

This has been brewing well before Apr 1.

This is just another cheap attempt at buying votes through misinformation.

The liberals have a disgusting and pseudo-legal monopoly on alcohol. The Liquor License Act is antiquated and skewed in favour of the government. Technically the Beer Store really shouldn't even be there.

This is the Liberals trying to trick voters into thinking they are giving us something they want and still retaining their multi-billion dollar annual monopoly.

Ski-Dude 4/1/2014 3:14:38 PM Report

Agree with GoHoundsGo.....for once I believe
itsme29 4/1/2014 3:17:16 PM Report

go hounds go u have it right those cashiers at the lcbo are making huge money for being cashiers...and were paying for it, then to buy over priced booze were paying again... put the booze in the corner stores and gas stations like the states does...the gov can still get there liquor tax. the lcbo can be debolished as can the beer stores...and the tax payer could maybe afford to drink a bit more!!!
scottstewy123 4/1/2014 3:20:08 PM Report

wow . The grocery store will take a lot of the business from the LCBO stores. Then the suits in Toronto will say hey we will have to close stores. Mark my words. Now if the province wants to have Grocery stores and corner store selling liquor like the United States then hey lets do that. Or leave it to the liquor stores. HALF and Half is not the way to have it. Once the booze is in the grocery stores the corner stores will want to get in on the profits too mark my words. Either deregulate or not. Ontario you can not have it both ways. But remember this once the genie is out of the bottle it will be difficult to get it back in the bottle again. I am a strong on deregulation except on one issue BOOZE. Will this result in more under age drinking? Has the suits in Toronto thought of this? I think this has a lot more to do with paying wages. The L.C.B.O stores pay union wages. Or am I wrong on this? Same as the BEER Store. Its my guess the province is toying with the idea of deregulating booze. This is an experiment to see how it will go. And if it brings in more revenue guess what. BYE BYE STORES ,BYE BYE UNION. I would call David Os phone and voice concerns over this. I think the LCBO and BEER stores are doing a sufficient job at trying to keep booze out of the hands of under age drinkers. Also What about employees of these stores. Does employees that handle the booze have to then take a smart serve course and be of age. We know huge numbers of minors in this province work in corner stores and grocery stores. If the law states to handle alchol you have to be of a certain age then what happens to these kids? If each employee has to take a smart serve course who pays for that? Hey we have to ask all these questions. I say leave it as it is. Not hurting anyone
Lone24 4/1/2014 3:21:03 PM Report

Very well put B Boy. I agree with you. There are a lot more things that need looking into than having alcohol being sold in grocery stores.
Tag33&1/3rd 4/1/2014 3:34:30 PM Report

Ya hope Metro Churchill plaza NOT Pinos!
Tag33&1/3rd 4/1/2014 3:37:55 PM Report

LCBO on great northern was a waste! It is a joke there and some staff think they are border guards or something. Lol --was perfect in Churchill plaza!
Me Myself an I 4/1/2014 3:50:09 PM Report

@GoHoundsGo Please get your facts straight.

The LCBO does not cost taxpayers any money, they are a crown corporation that generates their own revenue and all expenses be it rent, lights, those over paid cashiers (as you put it) or the extremely overpaid managers comes from that revenue.

The remainder or profit, which is a nice chunk goes to the provincial coffers.

So you should really ask yourself, would you rather that profit go to pay for healthcare etc or to the pockets of some private company ?

Also don't know where you got your figures from, but when they privatized liquor sales in Alberta prices went up.
Right of Centre 4/1/2014 4:03:10 PM Report

What this vote-buying press release does not say is that this will be only a handful of stores throughout the whole province. I read 10 stores only elsewhere.
Right of Centre 4/1/2014 4:04:46 PM Report

Make that seven's in their quick facts at the bottom of the release. Whoopeeeee!
deerhunter 4/1/2014 4:30:03 PM Report

I think people should really take a look around our city these under age children don,t care about alcohol their more into drugs,and as Beej said maybe legalize marijauna and the younger generation might stop stealing perscription drugs and get their life on the right track. The good lord is providing us with home grown, not man made drugs.
teets 4/1/2014 4:40:34 PM Report

@ deerhunter ... give your head a good shake ! Perhaps our " stealing rx drug users " should get ummmmmm maybe a job or an education ...
I'm In 4/1/2014 5:03:48 PM Report

It's the government of the day that's trying to buy votes, although it is a good thing and long overdue, the government still gets their share, they are still trying to privatize local charity casinos but still want their cut, what private investor is going to scoop those two entities up knowing that the provincial government will get their cut from sales and profits, they need their cut to pay MPP's and the Premier the 6% wage increase they approved without public input, while the rest of Ontarian's take wage freezes.
CherRN 4/1/2014 5:28:31 PM Report

As a SMALL business owner who ALREADY cards for cigarettes and lotto- this is ridiculous.. Ontario consumers would like to buy their BEER and WINE at more convenient locales..the lcbo's are benefiting tax dollars...
NOW the small guy could survive if the big beer companies didn't hold all the cards... in regards to the BEER STORES who are owned by the THREE BIG COMPANIES they need to give up the monopoly...
Let's just throw something out that doesn't change anything and have everyone grossly misinformed..
Oh, and maybe do something about the contraband tobacco who are sucking our health care dollars up and we aren't collecting ANY taxes on THAT!!
cbc6670 4/1/2014 7:31:56 PM Report

This is the stupid what a waste of money.

Its not anymore convient the hours will still be this same as main branches. And the costs wont go down. The hub store will be the same as regular lcbo location over priced and super inconvient. Lower the cost of boose legalize pot and tax the hell out of that instead.

What we need is to let the corner stores sell the Boise that way if you want to pick up beer at 9 am or 12am you can. Why should I have to drag my ass out at 1 pm on Sunday if I am already out in the morning.
GOLDENRIVER 4/1/2014 9:22:25 PM Report

Civilized means that you are adjusted to living in civilization .Canada is a civilized country ,Ontario is part of this great nation ; we have laws in our society to punish the ones that break the rules of civilization , is about time we can buy a bottle of liquor in a grocery store , like the rest of the civilized world . To those that don’t like the idea the world is getting very small and educated to impose rules that are unrealistic and obsolete .
Me Myself an I 4/2/2014 7:24:31 AM Report

privatization will not lower the cost of booze, well maybe in Toronto.

Right now a bottle of booze costing $20 in TO will cost $20 in SSM. Bring in privatization and watch your costs locally rise.

bounder 4/2/2014 9:14:28 AM Report

Privatization will lower the price, anyone on the Ontario/Quebec border buys the booze in Quebec where it's cheaper. What's news is that they took so long to do it.
habby67 4/2/2014 9:48:56 AM Report

This is only good IF one of the grocery stores can accommodate the 2,000 square feet necessary. I don't see many stores taking away that kind of real estate for liquor and beer sales, unless they have space next to their store they can add to.
Bad Dawg 4/2/2014 11:33:56 AM Report

Has Ontario they never heard of "off sales".... where any legal drinking establishment could sell a sealed bottle of booze or a case of beer..... like take out. Would keep it less accessible from kids and criminals!!
Me Myself an I 4/2/2014 1:46:55 PM Report

bounder, check Alberta where you can have a $10 difference in the price of a bottle depending on where you buy it..
ranny 4/2/2014 3:26:29 PM Report

Better hire security. I can sense 5 finger shopper not only in the grocery store, but also in the alcohol isle also.
Wild Turkey 4/2/2014 5:24:52 PM Report

Sure, they do it in other provinces, but does that make it right?
I visited B.C., and the locals will drive right by the gov't store, and stop at the convenience store.Why? They can get their munchies , smokes and beer all at the same place.
So you're gaining convenience for higher prices.You are also losing many well-paid government jobs, effective regulation, broad selection, and possibly a cash cow revenue stream.
Wine in the grocery store works well, but liquor and beer?What about the empties?More work for the "overpaid employees at the Beer Store?
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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