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Ontario selects first grocers to sell wine

Walmart, Farm Boy and Highland Farms will be among the first grocers in Ontario to sell wine in their stores

The Ontario government has just released a list of the first grocers in the province that will be allowed to sell wine.

The government said the winning grocers were selected via a competitive bidding process held by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

The sale of wine, both domestic and imported, will begin in up to 70 grocery stores starting Oct. 28th.

The province said the winning bidders reflect a mix of independent and large grocers. Highland Farms, Loblaw, Longo Brothers, Metro Ontario, Walmart, Starsky's Fine Foods Hamilton and Uxbridge Foods were among those chosen.

Charles Sousa, minister of finance, noted that being able to pick up wine alongside food offers more convenience to shoppers.

"The changes to wine retailing in Ontario will help wine producers access a new retail channel, enable local grocers to expand their business and allow greater convenience and choice," he said

Allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores is in line with other changes the government has made to modernize the way it sells alcohol. It announced the sale of beer in some grocery stores last December, cider in June, and also recently introduced online shopping at the LCBO.

Eventually, up to 450 grocery stores will be authorized to sell beer and cider and up to 300 will also be allowed to sell wine.

A list of specific stores that will stock wine hasn't been announced but here is the full list of grocery retailers selected to sell it:

  • — Canex Canadian Forces Exchange System

  • — Coppa's Fresh Market

  • — Farm Boy

  • — Fresh Market Foods

  • — Highland Farms

  • — Loblaws

  • — Longo Brothers Fruit Markets

  • — Metro Ontario

  • — Sobeys Capital

  • — Starsky's Fine Foods Hamilton

  • — Uxbridge Foods

  • — Walmart Canada

  • — Yummy Market

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