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More Choice, Convenience and Fairness for Beer and Wine Consumers

Backgrounder

More Choice, Convenience and Fairness for Beer and Wine Consumers

Ministry of Finance

Allowing More Grocery Stores to Sell Alcohol

Grocers are invited to submit entries to participate in a lottery process run by the LCBO. Eighty-seven grocers will be selected to sell imported and domestic beer, cider and wine under unrestricted authorizations. Applications will be divided by region and about 20 per cent of authorizations will be reserved for independent grocers. 

After the lottery, successful grocers will apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for an authorization and enter into a supply agreement with the LCBO. New grocers are expected to begin selling alcohol starting in September 2019. And for the 35 existing grocers that have restricted authorizations, most of their initial restrictions will be lifted and they will be able to expand their assortments to a larger selection of wine starting in October 2019.   

Expanding LCBO Convenience Outlets to 200 New Communities

The LCBO is expanding its agency store program to 200 new underserved communities across the province. These new stores will be branded as LCBO Convenience Outlets. The LCBO will release a Request for Proposal identifying the selected communities from which local businesses can apply for a Convenience Outlet authorization. If there are multiple businesses in one community interested in this opportunity, all eligible applicants will be entered into a lottery and the successful business will receive the Convenience Outlet authorization.

Authorizations will be allocated in waves:

  • Up to 150 stores will be authorized between June and December 2019. The first 60 stores are expected to open starting in August, and up to 90 more will open by December 2019.
  • A second wave of authorizations will see more stores opening in spring 2020.

The LCBO has procured experienced third-party service providers to deliver technical support for the selection processes for both grocery stores and LCBO Convenience Outlet operators. These third parties will ensure that the operation of the lotteries for both processes is completely independent.

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