Artist's rendering of a separate liquor store space attached to a grocery store.

Big-box stores excluded from liquor sales

Stores must be at least 10,000 square feet with most sales from groceries, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says

VICTORIA – Large grocery stores are the only retailers eligible to add a separate liquor store under new B.C. government regulations set to take effect in the spring of 2015.

To qualify for a space to sell alcoholic beverages, stores must have at least 929 square metres (10,000 square feet) of floor space and groceries as 75 per cent of their sales, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton announced Friday.

The restrictions are designed to exclude general merchandise and “big box” stores as well as convenience stores, according to a ministry statement. Eligible stores will be permitted to create a “store within a store” with separate cash registers and staff, or “co-brand” with liquor stores outside their existing facilities.

The government plans to maintain its cap on the number of liquor stores, with 670 private stores now in operation. Liquor stores are currently restricted to relocating no more than five km from their original location, but that restriction is being lifted so a licence can be sold or moved anywhere in the province.

That would allow existing government or private liquor stores to relocate in partnership with grocery stores, while maintaining the regulation that no two liquor outlets can be closer together than one kilometre.

Licensing to sell B.C. wine directly from grocery store shelves, a second recommendation from a province-wide consultation on liquor policy reform conducted earlier this year, is still being studied.

Anton said the system “strikes a balance of added convenience for consumers and support for B.C.’s business sector, while at the same time respecting health and public safety considerations.”

 

Just Posted

Cache Creek landfill extension set for September completion

Project has been delayed due to wildfires and floods over past two years

Drag races set to return for Graffiti Days weekend

Annual event features old favourites like the smoke show, and new events like a drive-in movie

Bonaparte River fishway, Thompson steelhead among projects awarded grant funding

More than $9 million will help 170 fish and wildlife projects around B.C.

Wellness clinics provide free, drop-in health information

New service in Clinton helps patients manage their health care and stay out of hospital

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Most Read