Smaller grocers decry province’s LCBO Express proposal
Yesterday, Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa announced a pilot program that would have ten LCBO Express kiosks installed inside Ontario grocery stores, in a yet another half-measure designed to give Ontarians the freer access to booze they so desperately crave. Today, smaller retailers are saying that the plan could hurt their bottom line.
“We don’t want the LCBO to stand for Loblaw Control Board of Ontario,” vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers Gary Sands told the Globe. As it stands, the proposal only applies to stores that are at least 15,000 square feet, which categorically disqualifies smaller shops from stocking beer, wine and spirits.
Sousa, for his part, holds that the Express pilot program could be expanded to include these smaller, independent retailers, calling the plan “just a first step.”