Grocers: Greater Wine and Liquor Selection?

Grocers: Greater Wine and Liquor Selection?

SAQexpressThe SAQ, Québec’s Liquor Control Board, is debating whether or not to install “mini” branches of its stores directly in grocery supermarkets across Québec. The idea has been put forward and is presently being discussed by the major grocery chains that do business in the province. Loblaw’s, IGA, and Metro, have all been approached and are considering the move. The major obstacle is the amount of space required to accommodate the inventory that these SAQ Express branches would require as most grocers are already having trouble finding place to store their own products. The SAQ would require 1500 sq, feet of space meaning most stores would have to either expand or lower their inventory of groceries which kind of defeats the purpose.

The stores would be run independently by the SAQ, meaning the employees would work for them and not for the grocery chains involved which makes it simpler for everyone involved. A test was inadvertently done in a Loblaw’s store in Ste Foy, when the local SAQ outlet closed for renovations and set up shop temporarily in the Loblaw’s next door. The situation was profitable for the SAQ and Loblaw’s, suggesting the idea is probably in the best interest of both parties. In some rural communities the combination already exists at certain smaller retailers.

If all goes well, and all the legalities are ironed out, we may be able to buy that bottle of rum at the same place and same time as that pound of hamburger, as early as 2015 and we’ll probably save some gas in the process.

……………………………………………………………….. Staff Writer

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