The Ontario Ministry of Finance announced a new project expanding throughout the province. LBCO express stores will be opening up in grocery stores in the near future. Other provinces, such as Quebec, already have the option to buy alcohol at grocery stores as well as convenience stores. With its large population, Ontario could benefit from having alcohol more accessible.The stores will be coming in about 12-18 months from now.
Scott Blodgett said, “They’ll certainly be in separate areas of stores, they’ll have separate cash registers (and) they’ll be staffed by LCBO staff.”
Details of the locations and the designs of the mini-outlets have not yet been released. There has been great public interest in this idea and will definitely add a different kind of flexibility to the market. Likely larger, more populated areas will have the ‘test’ stores.
The purpose of these mini-stores is aimed to help underserved areas that would benefit from having an express store. Whether this is because the distance to the nearest LCBO is too far for easy access, or whether it is simply a way to spread out the popularity of the stores and disperse some of the business.
If these stores are successful, they could be seen everywhere. People are always looking for more convenience as the Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan explains, and the LCBO is a great way to expand that. There is controversy in the government over the topic, so after the project is put in motion there will be more conversations within the provincial government.