Odd Rules for Grocery Beer Sales

Grocery Beer SalesLast year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that a number of grocery stores in Ontario would be able to start selling beer, with the numbers growing in the coming months. For those privileged stores, this could mean an increase in both traffic and sales, both good things, but they also have a lot more responsibility when it comes to selling.

A recent Huffington Post article looked at some of these rules, and we thought we’d share. Check it out here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/12/16/7-odd-rules-for-ontario-grocery-stores-selling-beer_n_8815418.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-business.

So, what are the impacts that grocery beer sales will have on how stores are expected to conduct themselves? Here are some of the rules:

  • Only staff members over 18, and with SmartServe Certification, will be able to handle the product. This doesn’t just mean for purchases but stocking the shelves as well.
  • Beer can only be located in one section of the store. The store can choose the location, but everything must be contained in that one area. If more than one aisle is required, the aisles must at least be connected.
  • At this time, only beer can be sold. Stores can choose the style they sell, and flavoured beers are ok, but malt-based coolers are on the ‘not permitted list’.
  • Store operators are not allowed to sell a product which they have a direct interest in. For example, operators can’t start brewing their own product and selling it on store shelves.
  • Customers are not permitted to use reward/loyalty points to purchase beer. They can, however, collect points on beer purchases.
  • No free snacks or other discounts are allowed as a way to promote grocery beer sales, but under certain conditions, stores can offer free samples of a product as a way to promote sales.

Beer sales could be a game changer for stores, but they have some responsibilities as far as how those sales are conducted.

If you are one of the lucky stores looking forward to grocery beer sales and want some help getting things organized, or just want to get your own merchandising plan established to take on 2016, call Marketsupport today at 1-877-421-5081.

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