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Ontario will get 13 new outlets of The Beer Store in 2014

Ontario will get 13 new outlets of The Beer Store in 2014
The redesigned Beer Store at Bathurst and College (Image: The Beer Store)

The Beer Store’s trademark caster belt may soon be a thing of the past. Yesterday, the Ontario beer chain owned by super-brewers Labatt, Molson and Sleeman’s announced a $30 million revamp that will see 13 new outlets across Ontario in 2014, as well as 61 floor-to-rafter renovations. Twenty GTA stores have already been built or redesigned according to the plan, including a 6,500-square-foot Mississauga outlet at Dixie and Dundas, and a brand new store in the Junction, which opened in the Stockyards retail block on Monday.

The rebranding effort began last spring, when four beer “boutiques” launched across the GTA as part of a pilot program to test an updated layout and design. In addition to a sleek new logo and less aggressive colour scheme, the cosmetic upgrade includes softer lighting, educational signage about beer and food pairings, a mix-and-match tallboy display and a touch-screen ordering system. Perhaps most revolutionary: customers at the new locations can actually walk around and interact with the merchandise rather than ordering from a receptionist-style pickup window. With so many consumer-friendly features, it almost makes us feel okay about buying suds from a government-enabled, foreign-owned booze cartel with dubious pricing methods.

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