"There Is No Hidden Agenda": Convenience Stores Would Raise The Price of Beer

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - One week after a report on deregulating the sale of alcohol in Ontario that warns of higher prices if beer sales were deregulated, it has never been more apparent that convenience stores will hike prices if they gain the right to sell beer, wine and hard liquor.

The week started with Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), declaring to the Toronto Sun: "The Ontario Convenience Stores Association has never advocated that we were going to offer cheap beer to anybody."1

He quickly became even more direct about the facts that convenience stores would hike beer prices, telling Global News:  "Yes, you would probably pay more for convenience because of location, because of hours of service…"2

The OCSA's plan was summed up by Jordan St. John on HuffingtonPost.ca where he wrote: "The OCSA's CEO even admitted that beer would likely be more expensive in convenience stores. The hint that should have tipped you off lies in the name of the store: You're paying for convenience. There is no hidden agenda."3

Soon, other columnists piled on.  In an article in the Calgary Herald Mark Milke wrote:  "Convenience stores regularly charge more for items found much cheaper in big box grocery stores, be it milk, bread or in the future — beer.  But that's the price of convenience."4

Toward the end of the week Bob Peter, President and CEO of the LCBO, echoed the emerging consensus.  The Simcoe Reformer reported on Peter's visit to a local LCBO with the headline, "LCBO chief warns of higher prices if sales allowed in corner stores."  The news story states: "…based on the experience of other jurisdictions, Peter said distribution costs tend to rise where alcohol sales are decentralized. 'The most recent to privatize liquor sales was Washington state,' Peter said. 'Their costs have gone up 10, 15%.'"5

With agreement that convenience stores would hike beer prices, the question for Ontarians is now:  if convenience store alcohol sales will make it easier for minors to get liquor, hike the price you pay for beer, eliminate 7,000 well-paying Beer Store jobs and a world class recycling system, is it really worth it? For more information about the Beer Store's study about the consequences of deregulating alcohol sales, visit, www.ontariobeerfacts.ca

1 http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/09/beer-will-cost-more-if-sold-in-corner-stores-study
2 http://globalnews.ca/video/1140728/beer-store-claims-more-choice-will-drive-up-prices
3 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jordan-stjohn-/beer-deregulation_b_4776756.html
4 http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/op-ed/Milke+Ontario+liquor+cartel+myths+about+Alberta+booze/9510528/story.html
5 http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2014/02/12/lcbo-chief-warns-of-higher-prices-if-sales-allowed-in-corner-stores

SOURCE: The Beer Store

For further information:

Jay Armitage, FleishmanHillard, jay.armitage@fleishman.ca, 416-645-8174

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