7-Eleven Canada opens the taps on serving alcohol

Store in Edmonton now offers beer, wine and coolers for on-premise consumption or takeout

As part of Alberta’s red tape reduction efforts, a 7-Eleven in Edmonton is among the first convenience stores in the province to serve and sell alcohol for on-premise consumption and takeout.

Customers visiting the 7-Eleven at 14110 127 St. can order beer, wine coolers to be consumed on-premises in the store's new designated dining area or purchase for takeout.  

The development comes of the Alberta Government announcing this summer that the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) was ahead of schedule with plans to relax rules around consumption. In a release, the government said AGLC removed “unnecessary restrictions on liquor sales, promoted responsible and safe drinking in designated parks and helped many businesses survive the recent pandemic.”

As part of the changes, convenience stores can sell alcohol if defined dining areas are treated as restaurants. In addition, staff must have Pro-Serve Liquor Training and alcohol must be stored in locked coolers.

In a statement, Karin Campbell, manager, communications, AGLC, told CTV News: "The licence permits this 7-Eleven location to operate and in-store restaurant that offers a selection of alcohol beverage products to adult customers, for consumption in a designated new dining area of the store."

While the 7-Eleven location is 7-Eleven Canada’s first to sell alcohol, it won’t be the last.

In February 2021, 7-Eleven confirmed it was preparing many of its Ontario shops to serve beer and wine after applying for 61 licences from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Several of those applications have since been withdrawn, however selling beverage alcohol is a major focus for the convenience industry in communities across the country. Until now, only Quebec and Newfoundland allowed for the sale in convenience stores.

Select stores in Ontario can sell through the LCBO Convenience Outlet program, but it's a far cry from Doug Ford's election promise to reduce red tape, offer Ontarians choice and allow for the sale of beer and wine in corner stores.

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