April 28, 2016
Beginning April 19th, the LCLB held the first of six auctions for eligible grocery stores to bid on the opportunity to apply for a Special Wine Store license to sell wine on shelves. BC Auctions will hold secure, private bidding opportunities on April 19, 21, 26, 28, May 3 and 5. The auctions will take place over 24 hours.
Government says initially there will be 6 auctions to determine eligibility for 6 licenses. Up to 12 additional auctions will be conducted at a future date. The highest bid in each auction is the winner, once the final audit confirms these results. The minimum bid in each auction is $125,000. Only grocery stores that meet specified regulatory criteria are eligible to bid (i.e. a minimum of 10,000 SF).
We commend the government for clarifying that the sale of BC beer wine is not included in these licenses and that they are staggering the release of the licenses to allow the market time to adapt. However, unlike private liquor stores and government liquor stores, these licenses will not be subject to the 1.0 kilometre distance rule. This gives grocery stores an unfair competitive advantage and goes against the spirit of the “level playing field” promised by government, all while offering no added benefit to consumers. The Alliance will continue to work with BC’s municipalities on implementing a 1 km distance requirement between all retailers of beverage alcohol in your communities.
- For information on the details of the auction and who is eligible visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/auction-sws-information-interested-parties.pdf
- For the policy directive outlining new regulations for special wine stores and the auction visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/policy-directive-2016-02.pdf
Please don’t hesitate to contact the ABLE BC office with any questions or concerns at 604-688-5560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.