Amid booming booze sales across the province, the LCBO plans to launch its largest expansion ever with 70 new stores set to open in the next two years.
The LCBO currently operates more than 620 stores across the province but record sales are prompting the agency to open more locations to meet demand.
“The McGuinty government is committed to supporting the Ontario wine and beer industries. The LCBO’s store expansion will generate a positive financial return for our province, while expanding jobs at craft breweries and wineries and improving service for Ontario consumers,” Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said in a statement.
Last year, the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) enjoyed a 4.9-per-cent increase in sales, totaling $4.7 billion. The provincial government reaped $1.66 billion in income thanks to Ontarians’ booze purchases.
Nearly $13 billion in LCBO dividends has gone to the province over the past decade.
Ontarians are increasingly reaching for locally-produced beer and wine — the provincial alcohol retailer says craft beer sales are up nearly 45 per cent this year and sales of VQA table wines are up nearly nine per cent, to $106 million.
Last month, a massive petition was delivered to Queen’s Park demanding convenience store owners be allowed to sell beer and wine. Premier Dalton McGuinty has rejected the idea.