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Latest liquor announcement includes pricing policy news

Grocery stores will be allowed to sell liquor in a separate area with dedicated tills



More liquor reforms were announced this week by the provincial government and the latest announcement includes the first news concerning wholesale pricing of liquor in B.C.

A news release sent out on Thursday, March 6 included a single line about pricing: “…the B.C. government will be developing a new price-based wholesale pricing model for wine and spirits distributed by the Liquor Distribution Branch, so that the price all liquor retailers pay is consistent across the board.”

The wholesale pricing will be consistent for BC Liquor Stores and private liquor stores but the wholesale pricing won' be available to restaurants, bars and pubs.

A backgrounder published along with the news release indicated B.C. wine producers will benefit from the no-mark-up policy for 100 per cent B.C. wines as that policy will remain in place.

The price-based wholesale model being explored by the provincial government will replace the current model, which has five different discount rates for various retailers and mark-ups that vary across 22 categories of products.

More details on the pricing policy changes are expected in the coming months.

“We committed to British Columbians and to the industry that we would act quickly to modernize B.C.'s liquor laws – and we're delivering on that promise by bringing in an initial set of amendments to our liquor laws," said Suzanne Anton, the province’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The most recent news release on changes in the aging B.C. liquor policies focused on liquor sales in grocery stores. John Yap, the Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform, recommended a two-part model for liquor sales in grocery stores and that recommendation is being implemented.

The provincial government is going to allow a "store-within-a-store" model for grocery outlets interested in selling liquor and a second model to accommodate VQA licences. Under the second model, VQA wine can be sold off designated shelves within the store, and purchased at designated checkout tills.

Check back with Pique for ongoing coverage of changes to the B.C. liquor policies.