The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) voices support for Premier Ford's commitment to convenience stores
OAKVILLE, ON, June 29, 2018 /CNW/ - It's almost the long weekend, but have you budgeted an extra 30 minutes to line up at the LCBO? Enjoy the experience of shopping at the foreign-owned Beer Store? The OCSA is betting that Ontarians are ready for change, choice, and convenience.
The new government has made a clear commitment to expanding points of sale, emphasizing that it's time for Ontario to join other provinces, such as Alberta, Quebec, Newfoundland, and British Columbia, in giving customers more accessibility and options.
"The Ford government's promise is good for consumers, retailers, and Ontario's economy," said Dave Bryans, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA). "The Beer Store needs to have competition under a system that actually benefits Ontarians – retailers, craft brewers, and consumers. We're excited to work closely with the new government to quickly expand retail options."
An Abacus Data Inc. poll conducted during the June 2018 election showed that nearly 7 in 10 Ontarians (68 per cent) of all political stripes are enthusiastic about changing the way alcohol is sold and believe that more retailers should be able to sell beer and wine.
In 2014, the OCSA also organized an online and in-store petition that amassed 403,412 signatures in favor of alcohol retail expansion– the largest petition ever collected in Ontario. It's clear that the issue is still top of mind – Ontarians want more choice and convenience.
"Convenience stores have consistently demonstrated the ability to responsibly sell age-restricted products to the highest standards in Ontario. Public safety will continue to be top of mind as we work with the government on the steps toward implementation," said Bryans.
The OCSA is already well-equipped to sell age-restricted products responsibly. In 2017, checks conducted by the Ontario's Public Health Units in support of the Smoke Free Ontario Act found our stores score over 95 per cent in checking for age – neither LCBO nor The Beer Store make their pass rates public.
Ontario's convenience stores are a strong partner of government and are ready to support Ontario with modernized alcohol retailing. Convenience stores sell 75 per cent of all lottery tickets worth $2.55 billion each year, and operate many of Ontario's over 200 LCBO Agency Stores, that sell alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) in communities throughout the province.
The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) represents convenience stores committed to Responsible Community Retailing. The convenience store industry represents $13 billion in sales annually in Ontario and employs over 69,000 people. Convenience stores are also the largest partner of the Ontario government for the OLG, selling 75 per cent of all lottery tickets in the province and returning billions in tax and gaming revenues to public coffers. More than 3 million people visit convenience stores in communities across Ontario every day.
SOURCE Ontario Convenience Stores Association
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