VICTORIA - As government prepares to lift the five kilometre rule on April 1, 2015, liquor stores throughout B.C. will have an opportunity to enter a lottery to determine the queue for relocations, moves to other communities or into grocery stores.
- From Feb. 27 to March 27, 2015, interested liquor stores will have a four-week window to apply for relocation.
- All applications received during this period will be placed in a lottery and drawn at random.
- All applicants will be notified of their position in the queue after the draw is complete.
- This process will apply for both private liquor stores and BC Liquor Stores.
The lottery system is set up to ensure fairness - each applicant will be given an equal chance at qualifying to relocate, understanding that the one kilometre rule will continue to play a large role in the assessment and approval of applications. If more than one store wants to relocate its licence within the same one kilometre radius, the first applicant chosen is given priority.
For example, if there are two liquor stores in Prince George and one in Vancouver who all want to relocate their licence to a new location in Kelowna - into a grocery store or otherwise - the lottery system will determine who is first in line, because the area where one chooses to relocate may affect where the others are able to move.
To be clear, this lottery process is not required for VQA or wine stores, as they continue to be exempt from the one kilometre rule, or for any licensee that is adjacent to a grocery store and plans to apply to become a “store-in-store” by simply knocking down a wall.
Detailed information and a guide for applicants will be available on Feb. 27, 2015, at: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/policy/relocation.htm
Relocation forms will be available online on this same day for eligible wine stores wanting to move into a grocery store, under either the “store-in-store” or the “100% B.C. wine on shelves” model.
- The lottery approach, developed with guidelines and input from the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, was adopted to create the same starting line for all licensees, understanding that all liquor stores interested in relocating will need to abide by the one kilometre rule and local government bylaws.
- On April 1, 2015, to coincide and support the addition of liquor in grocery stores:
- The one kilometre distance criteria ensuring a minimum distance between relocating private liquor stores will be maintained and extended to include BC Liquor Stores.
- The five kilometre rule restricting private liquor stores from relocating outside of their local jurisdiction will be repealed.
- Following further consultations with industry, to be eligible to sell liquor under either grocery model, a grocery store must sell at least 70% food-related products. This has been adjusted from the original estimate of 75%. Once liquor store sales are added, at least 50% of sales must continue to be food-related products.
- Come April 1, 2015, grocery stores will have the opportunity to co-brand with liquor or wine stores as long as they share the same ownership. For example, if it owns a liquor licence already, ABC Foods can open an ABC Foods Liquor Store, regardless of whether it is within their grocery store.
- There will be no minimum size requirement for liquor retail stores within grocery stores.
- Liquor stores within grocery stores must be physically separated from the rest of the grocery store with controlled access and separate cash tills.
- One-cart shopping will be permitted - customers will be allowed to move freely with their cart between the grocery and liquor stores.
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement