City of Vancouver moves ahead with sale of liquor in grocery stores

Posted : 04/20/2018


Source: http://vancouversun.com/
Tiffany Crawford
April 18, 2018

Qualifying grocery stores in Vancouver will soon be able to sell beer, wine and spirits via a store-within-a-store model.

Vancouver residents will soon be able to pick up a bottle of wine at the same time they buy the ingredients for their dinner.

Vancouver city council approved the sale of liquor in grocery stores last year, but has now amended the bylaw to include grocery stores with liquor stores.

That means qualifying grocery stores could soon be able to sell beer, wine and spirits in their store via a store-within-a-store model, which is a separated area for booze with its own cashier.

The city says it will start accepting applications on May 14.

"Over the last few years, we have undertaken extensive public and stakeholder consultation regarding updates to the city's liquor policies," Kaye Krishna, the city's general manager of development, buildings and licensing, said in a statement Wednesday.

"These amendments not only balance the public's request, but also bring our liquor bylaws in line with provincial regulations."

Last year, Vancouver city council voted in favour of reforming the city's liquor rules, which included extended hours for breweries and distilleries, more outdoor patio space and selling wine in grocery stores.

Council voted against the option of allowing only B.C. VQA wines to be stocked on grocery store shelves and decided to go with the store-in-store model. But to do that, council needed to amend the bylaw to include the new use of retail space.

The Vancouver stores will have to comply with B.C. laws, which state that the grocery stores must be at least 10,000 square feet, and at least one kilometre from another liquor store. Grocery stores can work around that rule by buying out the nearest liquor store or by entering into a joint venture with the licence holder.

B.C.'s modernized liquor laws, which include allowing bars to offer a happy hour with discounted drinks and selling wine in grocery stores, came into effect last year.

So far, consumers can buy 100 per cent B.C. wine on grocery store shelves in 14 locations around the province. Vancouver becomes the first city to adopt the store-in-a-store model, which allows for all types of alcohol.


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