If you can’t find your favourite merlot, IPA, or scotch at the local LCBO, help is on the way.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa, along with the President and CEO of the LCBO George Sousa, announced that shoppers will now be able to go online to shop for products and have them delivered to their door or local LCBO.
“Consumers who may not have their favourite product at their local store, will now have over 5,000 products available right at their fingertips, and they’ll be able to find what they need with the click of a mouse,” said Sousa.
The new feature of the LCBO’s website is an effort to expand convenient access to alcohol for consumers in addition to selling beer, cider, and soon wine in grocery stores in the province.
Consumers who order online must make a minimum $50 purchase. Delivery is free of charge if it is sent to a local LCBO, though it may take 1-4 days if the order is filled by another LCBO, or 4-7 weeks if the order is filled by a third party supplier. If consumers want the products delivered straight to their home, a $12 fee is applied, though delivery time could take anywhere from 2-4 days to 3-4 weeks.
Packages will be delivered by Canada Post, and will only be handled by and delivered to those ages 19 and older.
Sousa also believes the decision will give a boost to small wineries and breweries.
“This new platform opens more opportunities for Ontario businesses. And thanks to an agreement between Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia last Friday, consumers will have all three provinces, (and) greater choice, greater convenience and an expanded access to wines produced in their provinces as well. Overall the virtual shelfspace now available to small wineries and breweries is fantastic.”
For London delivery company Good Cheer Deliveries, the move is not a surprise.
“I think in general you’re seeing everything go to online ordering. I think you’re seeing mortar and brick stores banishing left, right and centre,” said company president Andrew Schlueter. “It’s cheaper to warehouse and if you order directly and then just bring it to you, than actually have people with jobs telling you about products and selling you things.”
Schlueter says his company won’t suffer too much despite the LCBO encroaching on his territory for alcohol deliveries. With a long wait time for products through the LCBO, Schlueter says his customers want speedy service.
“If you want something, you realize you’re having some people over, we’ll bring you a bottle of wine for dinner,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to impact us directly. For someone who is ordering a large quantity because they’re having a function on a weekend or something, absolutely it would be beneficial for them to do it that way.”
LCBO sales in 2015-16 reached a record $5.57-billion, up 6.8 per cent year over year.
It paid a dividend of $1.935 billion to Ontario, an increase of $130 million.