November 10, 2016

In the spring of 2016 the LCLB held a series 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. In December a further six auctions will be held. Up to six more auctions beyond this may be conducted at a later date, yet to be determined.

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). Grocery stores with a Special Wine Store License can sell 100% BC wine, cider, and sake off shelves.

With respect to the spring 2016 auction, it has been reported that the BC government has given Loblaw Companies Ltd. approval in principle to put B.C. wine on the shelves of six of its stores. Final approval will not be granted until Loblaw manages zoning requirements and passes final inspections. The Toronto-based grocery chain outbid the Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) for the six licenses that it plans to use in six of its stores.

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