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

Multi-family housing zoning passed

The way is partly paved for 11 new multi-family strata buildings to go up in Smithers

Two Smithers bowlers go to nationals

Madison Richter and Peyton Pettigrew are heading to Oshawa after winning gold at B.C. provincials.

New Work BC office scheduled to open April 1

Kopar Administration, the new Work BC contractor, still looking to fill positions in Smithers office

Gryphons girls graduate as coach moves on

Bulkley Valley SD54 van der Mark on his time as coach and education administrator.

Bulkley Valley members of The North Matter rally in Houston

Pro-pipeline and resource development group driving convoy Saturday, eyes expansion across the North

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read