Ontario to introduce 'LCBO Express' kiosks
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 11:07AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 11:47AM EST
The Ontario government is putting LCBO outlets into grocery stores across the province.
The move will initially see ten “LCBO Express” kiosks launched in major grocery stores selected in areas that are currently under-served by the liquor store.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told CTV News' Queen's Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss the move is designed to make shopping for booze more convenient for Ontarians.
The so-called LCBO Express stores will feature beer, wine, spirits and most of the selection already available at free-standing liquor stores.
The plan also includes placing five additional VQA Wine outlets into grocery stores.
Duncan says he expects the number of LCBO Express stores to increase in coming years as the public demand for access increases. The outlets will be staffed by LCBO employees and operate under the same hours as other liquor stores.
The Ontario government also announced that new ‘VQA Destination Boutiques’ will be introduced, offering an expanded selection of wines, including products from smaller producers that may be more difficult to find. These boutiques will be located inside select full-size LCBO stores and are intended to help support Ontario’s wine industry.
Duncan has previously rejected the Progressive Conservative plan to place beer and wine in corner stores, slamming what he calls PC Leader Tim Hudak's plan to open "Detroit-style party stores on every street corner."
The first LCBO Express outlets are expected to open in 12 to 18 months, after the LCBO identifies suitable locations and constructs the spaces.
Champagne is seen at a LCBO in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Next year shoppers could buy their bubbly at their local grocery store.
Ontario's Liberal government announced a pilot project to sell liquor and wine in 10 grocery stores on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (J.P. Moczulski / THE CANADIAN PRESS)