The Ontario government has announced plans to bring beer and wine to the convenience sector. You can read about Minister Finance Vic Fedeli’s announce in the Toronto Star here. Below is an update from OCSA CEO Dave Bryans detailing what retailers can expect and how to best prepare for the new channel.
The time has come to bring convenience store retailing into the modern era by including beer and wine in a responsible, convenient and open market model that respects the wishes of the majority of consumers. Will we be ready for this challenge?
The Minister of Finance announced last week that the Ford government will now be moving ahead with the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores in Ontario. This has been a long journey to break the strong hold that foreign owned beer companies have had on the retailing and expansion of beer sales since 1927 and is long overdue.
This announcement doesn’t come without obligations from the convenience store channel and all the independents in Ontario. In the weeks if not months ahead, we will be working with stakeholders on distribution and costs, certification and training and a rollout plan for our members.
We ask all family run convenience stores to start thinking about our continued support of Ontario craft brewers and Ontario wineries and how you can engage them in your local communities. Our rollout focus will be on the independents and regional chains knowing this will greatly assist all of you and ask for patience as we plan ahead. As we work on plans for all of you we will be offering ideas on cooler allocation, planograms for both beer and wine and data that supports the types of beers and wines that would best service communities in Ontario – stay tuned
Let me answer the question from all members and that is when? I am hoping we can see final plans ready for a late fall implementation if not sooner and will keep all informed as we move through the meetings and process to get this right.
I would suggest that all retailers have their OCSA membership for 2019 up to date and if not please contact the OCSA office at (905) 845-9152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are over 6,000 independents in Ontario so please inform your friends and colleagues of our ongoing communication and ask them to contact us to insure they are informed.
Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association
Cost for independents to join OCSA is $85.00 annually +HST.