February 24, 2016
The LCLB has released a new Policy Directive regarding minimum liquor pricing in liquor stores:
- Effective May 1, 2016, a new policy will come into effect imposing new minimum liquor prices in Licensee Retail Stores, Wine Stores, and manufacturer on-site stores.
- Under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, the LCLB can apply this policy only to the license types listed above. However, LDB will impose the same pricing policies on BC Liquor Stores and they will also require Rural Agency Stores to follow the same rules.
- Effective May 1st, a licensee may not sell liquor for less than: (1) the price that the licensee paid for the liquor; or (2) the price set out in the table below.
- In explaining the rationale behind minimum liquor pricing, the LCLB says: Requirement (1) above, is the continuation of a longstanding LCLB policy. Requirement (2) above, is to ensure that liquor with very low wholesale prices is not retailed at prices that may encourage abuse or over-consumption.
|Liquor Category||Minimum Price Per Litre
(not including all sales taxes)
(bottles and tins)
(kegs 18 litres or greater)
|Cider and Coolers||$3.75|
The table above contains examples of minimum prices for common package sizes. In addition, an interactive Excel spreadsheet is available on the LCLB website to enter different product sizes to determine the minimum price: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/minimum-price-calculator.xls
To provide liquor stores with “sufficient time to review and adjust their retail pricing and advertising” the new policy will not come into effect until May 1, 2016. In the interim, the existing policy prohibiting licensees from selling liquor below its purchase price remains in effect.
Read the full policy directive: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/policy-directive-2016-04.pdf
The LCLB has consulted with ABLE BC on these changes. With this new policy directive, the government’s intention is not to increase prices, but rather to clarify a floor minimum. These new minimums will also help prevent grocery stores from price gouging or using wine as a loss leader.