The convenience store sector is saying that if the government will now open up beer and wine to convenience stores, they have a strong commitment from all the chain stores in Ontario to support Ontario-made wine and craft beer.
- We are committing our stores to voluntarily set aside at least 30% of beer and wine retail space for Ontario wines and craft beer.
- This will provide Ontario wines and craft beer producers with enormous new opportunities to showcase their products – right in the communities where they’re produced.
- Convenience stores are local community retailers and we’re perfectly suited to help promote and support Ontario’s local craft breweries and Ontario wineries.
- Our Ontario wine and craft beer pledge would result in significantly more consumer exposure and retailing opportunities than the Ontario craft beer and wines currently have – more than the Beer Store and often more than the LCBO.
- But our plan is meant to complement the jobs the LCBO and the Beer Store do in Ontario.
- Based on convenience stores in Ontario that already sell alcohol, this means that a typical store would have dedicated space for at least 75 different craft beer and Ontario wine products.
- That’s a minimum. Many stores, particularly those in urban centres, could feature more.
- Not only does our plan dedicate 30% of space to Ontario craft beer and wines, so they don’t have to fight the big brewers for shelf space, it also allows small craft brewers and Ontario wineries access to a modern, established distribution and logistics system to get their products into stores.
We know that Ontario can expand alcohol retailing and still earn the revenue it now gets from the LCBO – and more. And at the same time, protect the value of the LCBO as an asset for the province. The economic study released earlier this year suggests that expanding the current retailing system beyond the LCBO and Beer Store would not only preserve the $1.6 billion profit that the LCBO returns to the government, but would quite possibly increase it.
Over 200 convenience stores already sell alcohol in Ontario and many more are ready for the responsibility.
An independent study has shown that convenience stores do a abetter job than ether the government -run LCBO or foreign-0wned Beer Store at keeping age-restricted products from minors.
- When tested with underage secret shoppers (age 15-18), convenience stores scored the highest with an 87.3% pass rate, The Beer Store next with 80.7% and LCBO last with 74.6%. That means 1 in 4 minors successfully purchased age-restricted products from the LCBO, and 1 in 5 from the Beer Store – compared to 1 in 8 for convenience stores.
According to Angus Reid, as many as two out of three Ontario voters wan to see beer and wine in convenience stores.