Ontario Government To Put LCBO Outlets in Grocery Stores
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 11:11AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 5:19PM EST
The Ontario government is putting LCBO outlets into grocery stores across the province.
The move will initially see ten "LCBO EXPRESS" kiosks launched in major grocery stores selected in areas that are currently under-served by the liquor store.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told CTV's Paul Bliss the move is designed to make shopping for booze more convenient for Ontarians.
The so-called "LCBO EXPRESS" stores will feature beer, wine, spirits and most of the selection already available at free-standing liquor stores.
The ten locations have not yet been chosen.
"We look at demographics, development, other retail outlets in the area, and all that goes into choosing what makes the best point for an LCBO location, and in this case an LCBO express location," said LCBO spokesperson Heather MacGregor.
Many shoppers say they're all for the new express stores.
"Sometimes it’s hard to get to the LCBO because they’re no always located conveniently," said one shopper. "So if it’s in the grocery store it will be a lot easier."
"That’s a great thing actually," said another. "Having access to basically just one-stop-shop, that’s great."
The plan also includes placing five additional VQA Wine outlets into grocery stores.
Duncan says he expects the number of LCBO EXPRESS stores to increase in coming years as the public demand for access increases. The outlets will be staffed by LCBO employees and operate under the same hours as other liquor stores.
The Minister has rejected the Progressive Conservative plan to place beer and wine in corner stores. Duncan slammed what he calls PC Leader Tim Hudak's plan to open "Detroit-style party stores on every street corner."
The same rules will apply in supermarket LCBOs when it comes to showing ID.
"I think that’s a good idea quite frankly, it makes it more available...and as long as they have the right regulations in place so underage people can’t get a hold of it, I think it’s a great deal," said an LCBO shopper in downtown Ottawa.
The first LCBO EXPRESS outlets are expected to open in 12-18 months .. after the LCBO identifies suitable locations and constructs the spaces.
With files from CTV's Claudia Cautillo