The Auditor General of Québec issues the conclusions of her audit concerning the purchase and sale of alcoholic beverages by the Société des alcools du Québec and its performance - Press Release no. 6

QUÉBEC, May 25, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Ms. Guylaine Leclerc makes public the report entitled Value-for-Money Audit (spring 2016). In Chapter 6, she makes known the results of her audit at the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ).

For the purchase of alcoholic beverages, the means put into place by the SAQ to help obtain the best prices and most advantageous conditions could be strengthened.

  • The purchasing policy includes a clause on obtaining the best warehouse price, but there is nothing on the conditions, such as discounts (receiving volume discounts) or revenue from in-store positioning.
  • Some clauses that could help ensure better purchasing conditions are missing from the contracts.

The structure of the SAQ's markup for setting its retail prices promotes the profitability of its products. However, the SAQ did not examine all the mechanics of its markup structure; various changes were made to the markup structure over the past 10 years, but the foundations have remained unchanged. Such an examination should take into account the following elements, among others:

  • the importance of the promotions granted to consumers in 2014-2015, i.e., $129 million;
  • the basis of the retail price, which is the warehouse price;
  • the differences in prices between the SAQ and other retailers for identical products.

The SAQ does not carry out a structured follow-up of additions and withdrawals for its speciality products. Such a follow-up is important: the number of speciality products bought by batch continues to increase, the turnover rate of these products is lower than that of regular products and the SAQ aims to potentially offer consumers approximately 20,000 products.

There is an imbalance between the traffic in SAQ outlets and the hours worked by employees. In 2014-2015, Mondays to Wednesdays represented 24% of the traffic for the year, while the hours worked was equivalent to 37%. Taking traffic into account could reduce costs and increase sales.

The full report is available only in French.



Lucie Roy, Director
Cabinet, communications et affaires stratégiques
Auditor General of Québec
Tel.: 418 691-5915


SOURCE Vérificateur Général du Québec

For further information: Lucie Roy, Director, Cabinet, communications et affaires stratégiques, Auditor General of Québec, Tel.: 418 691-5915


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