The province said it is making it more convenient to buy alcohol while protecting social responsibility and helping grow the province's wine industry.
The LCBO will also set up VQA destination boutiques inside select full-size LCBO stores that will offer customers an expanded selection of Ontario's VQA wines, including hard-to-find wines from smaller producers.
The LCBO will immediately begin to explore options for these new store formats, with openings expected over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the press release. The total estimated value of Ontario’s beverage alcohol market in 2011-12 is $9.5 billion.
Through the introduction of these two new store formats and, together with the LCBO’s current store expansion plan, additional revenues will help contribute to eliminating the deficit and protect key priorities, such as health care and education.
Ontario currently has the lowest number of alcohol retail stores per capita of any province. In 2011-12, 6.3 million customers were challenged for proof of age or intoxication, and 290,000 were refused service by LCBO employees.