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Wine Rack seeing 'surge in traffic,' record sales during LCBO strike

A Wine Rack store is shown above in this file photo. (Codi Wilson/ CP24.com) A Wine Rack store is shown above in this file photo. (Codi Wilson/ CP24.com)
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Wine Rack stores across Ontario are seeing “record sales” amid the ongoing LCBO strike, the company said Thursday.

In a statement to CP24.com, a spokesperson for the wine retailer said Ontario stores have seen a “significant surge in traffic and demand” in the wake of the labour action by liquor store employees.

“To respond to this increased demand, the Wine Rack has enlisted more hands-on deck to support around the clock and replenish inventory as needed to ensure customer needs are met in all 164 stores,” the statement read.

The spokesperson added that the Wine Rack has “optimized” its same-day delivery service on its website and is offering ongoing promotions with its delivery partners, including UberEats, DoorDash, and SkipTheDishes.

All LCBO locations provincewide have been closed since Friday after approximately 9,000 workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) walked off the job.

At that time, one of the major sticking points at the bargaining table was the Ford government’s decision to expand alcohol retail in Ontario, allowing corner stores to sell beer, wine, and ready-to-drink beverages.

Mobile orders through the LCBO’s website and app are continuing, allowing for free home delivery anywhere in Ontario for the duration of the strike.

On July 19, if a deal has not been reached by the two sides, just 32 LCBO stores will open across Ontario for in-store shopping but will only operate on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with “limited hours in effect.”

Earlier this week, the provincial government launched a searchable, online map highlighting the 2,300 private retail points of sale where Ontario residents can still purchase alcohol during the strike. The map was met with heavy criticism from union leadership, who accused the premier of attempting to undermine bargaining.

“LCBO workers fully support the mom-and-pop stores and craft brewers, wineries and distilleries and we also encourage folks to go to them. But that’s not what Ford is doing,” MacLeod said in a written statement released on Monday.

“He is undermining LCBO workers and this strike to hand the alcohol market over to big box store, grocery, and convenience chain CEOs so that alcohol sales can be monopolized by them.”

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