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Study: Ontarians support an expanded alcohol retailing system

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A new study, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, shows that 69% of Ontarians want to  see more private retailers, like convenience stores,offer competition to The Beer Store. It  concludes that support for allowing private retailers to compete with both the LCBO and The  Beer Store is “widespread and strong.”

“This survey reinforces what convenience stores hear from their customers almost daily –  people want more choice and convenience in alcohol retailing. They know that competition is  a good thing, and there is evidence to show that adding competition to alcohol retailing in  Ontario can actually boost LCBO profits at the same time,” says Dave Bryans, CEO of the  Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA). “And that’s not to mention the jobs that  would be created with allowing more competition. Earlier this year one of our members alone promised it would immediately create nearly 1,800 jobs if alcohol retailing were expanded.”

Here are a few more of the study’s findings: 

  • 61% of Ontarians in urban areas and 83% in rural areas were familiar with the LCBO Agency Store program
  • 73% want to see the LCBO’s Agency Store network expanded
  • 13% of Ontarians are aware that The Beer Store is owned by three foreign multi-national companies
  • When informed of The Beer Store’s ownership, 62% of Ontarians had a somewhat negative, or very negative opinion of the organization
  • 63% of Ontarians ranked the responsible sale of alcohol as a main factor in their overall experience when purchasing alcohol; 46% cited overall convenience as key

“The facts are that convenience stores can and do retail alcohol responsibly and professionally. In fact, we’re already doing it at 200 locations in Ontario through the LCBO Agency Store program,” says Bryans. “Whether it’s abroad, in Quebec, or right here at home, Ontarians have seen how convenience stores are responsible alcohol retailers.”

What do you think? Weigh in with your comments below.