'LCBO Express' pilot delayed until 2015

LCBO closing lease agreements with retailers in London, Mississauga and Toronto

While a pilot project is on the horizon to introduce LCBO locations into grocery stores, shoppers shouldn’t expect to see beer or spirits in supermarkets this year. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced plans in April to install express LCBO express kiosks in 10 stores before the end of 2014. But according to an article from The Toronto Star, consumers will have to wait. “I can confirm that we are in the process of concluding lease agreements for LCBO Express stores in London, Mississauga and Toronto, and we expect these negotiations to be concluded soon,” an LCBO spokesperson told The Star. She added once the agreements are finalized, openings will be dependent on how quickly the retailer can build the space and finalize government approval. The LCBO issued a Request for Proposals to grocery retailers earlier this year. Interested retailers needed to accommodate at least 2,000 square feet of space within their store for the LCBO kiosk, and must not be within a half-kilometre of an existing LCBO. READ: ‘LCBO Express’ is coming to Ontario grocery stores this year The chosen grocers and locations have not yet been announced. Sousa noted at a press conference the LCBO Express stores would operate under the same LCBO hours of business, but a seperate location would be in place for those purchasing LCBO products versus other grocery fare. British Columbia also finalized plans to sell alcohol in the province's grocery stores. The program is expected to be in full swing by Spring 2015.

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