The OCSA has conducted various meeting on behalf of the Agency stores in Ontario to build a better model for additional stores, correct some of the issues affecting the stores as follows:
Policy suggestions to improve partnership with convenience stores for consideration:
- Expand the product offerings in LBCO Convenience Outlets to include ready-to-drink, ciders as well as the local demands of each community.
- Eliminate delivery costs that eat into the minimal profits and would make for a healthier LCBO convenience business model. LCBO is the only supplier to the convenience store channel with delivery costs.
- Ensure the proposed Beer Store delivery costs of January 2021 are not imposed on LCO partners due to the small margins that must cover labour, inventory costs, PPE costs and space allocation costs. (The Ministry has stepped in to put a hold on the new Beer Store new delivery costs… for now).
- Expand the LCBO Convenience Outlet model to allow for additional sites throughout Ontario as well as an open RFP process instead of twice a year. This discussion can allow for a stronger and more convenient offering and worth discussing.
- Review the criteria for an LCBO Convenience Outlet and potentially test urban expansion and proximity sites for convenience and consumer attitudes.
- Price changes and promotions pricing should be conducted once a month in LCBO Convenience Outlet (instead of weekly) due to the numerous and small changes required weekly, manpower & management time as well as loss of margin due to absorbing shelf product costs.
A round table forum with a few key LCBO Convenience Outlet operators to review how we could make this offering better for consumers while developing a strong small format retail offering together.
The OCSA is making a strong case for a further rollout of LCBO Convenience Outlets and have encouraged the LCBO management to sit down and have a round table on how to make this a strong and viable business proposition going forward.