Premier McGuinty: Here are the facts: Convenience stores are better at checking for age than the LCBO or the Beer Store

TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - After remarks made by the Premier that cast doubt on convenience stores record at checking for age, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) invited Premier McGuinty to actually visit a member store to see for himself the systems and training that make convenience stores best at age checks in Ontario.

"Each OCSA member takes their duty to act as a responsible community retailer very seriously - our stores sell more age restricted products than any other retailer in this province and collectively perform over 36 million ID checks of minors each year," said OCSA members.  "The Premier's comments that the government-run LCBO, or the foreign- and privately-owned Beer Store, are the only ones that can be trusted when selling products like alcohol are just plain wrong.   The facts don't support it."

OCSA members were surprised and disappointed at the Premier's comments which were both wrong and unfair to the established Canadian companies and successful entrepreneurs who employ 69,000 Ontarians and contribute $13 billion to the province's economy.

In an independent study conducted last year to test how well the LCBO, Beer Store and convenience stores perform in denying sales of age restricted products to minors, a clear picture emerged.  When tested with underage secret shoppers (age 15-18), convenience stores scored the highest with an 87.3% pass rate, The Beer Store next with 80.7% and LCBO last with 74.6% - meaning 1 in 4 minors successfully purchased age-restricted products from LCBO, and 1 in 5 from The Beer Store - compared to 1 in 8 for convenience stores.

In total, the study tested 105 of the LCBO's 611 stores, 98 of The Beer Store's 440 stores, and 93 convenience stores.  The convenience store success rate testing for age shown in this Statopex study is consistent with Health Canada's secret shopping tests of over 300 chain convenience stores in Ontario each year.

Those are the facts.  OCSA members hope that the Premier will take some time to reconsider his comments and give both corporate Canada and the many family-run convenience stores across this province who diligently check for age each day the fair-mindedness and support they deserve.

"We believe the convenience store industry is a great business success story for Ontario, not only for the communities we serve, but also in the way we handle age-restricted products," added OCSA members.  "We would be pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate to Premier McGuinty the training and systems our member stores have put in place to ensure that the many types of age restricted products we sell, including tobacco, lottery tickets and alcohol, are done with the utmost care and responsibility."

About OCSA

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association is made up of 7,500 of Ontario's 11,000 convenience stores.  Our members are a diverse group of some of the largest companies in Canada, through to some of the hardest-working new Canadian families in Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario Convenience Stores Association

For further information:

John Perenack
StrategyCorp Inc.
(416) 864-7903

Carley Strader
StrategyCorp Inc.
(416) 864-7112 ext. 2241

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