Monday, September 19, 2016

Prince George takes a different path than Prince Rupert when it comes to wine sales

While the concept is banned in
Prince Rupert, the sale of wine
in grocery stores has arrived at
a Prince George Save-on-Foods
In late August, Prince Rupert City Council put in place new restrictions on who can sell beer, wine and spirits in the community, a project which a number of  Council members clearly indicated was designed to protect smaller local operators and keep the sales of the beverages out of the domain of the two grocery stores that are located in the city.

It was a revision to the City bylaws that a few councillors had been seeking for a few years now and came with a fair bit of debate with Councillor Blair Mirau the lone opponent to the plan, asking council members if the City had a place in 'picking winners and losers' in a free enterprise system.

In the end, the desire to protect the smaller outlets, most of which are located in, or close to the city's downtown core won out, with Prince Rupert Council putting in place its one kilometre rule that will restrict the number of outlets and what kind of business can sell alcoholic products in the city.

That however is a theme that it would seem is not universally shared in the province, with our neighbours eight hours to the east going in a decidedly different direction, one that offers choice for the consumer and creates competition in the Prince George marketplace.

Though like Prince Rupert, there are some in that community and on the Prince George City council that are not sure that the new opportunity is one that is required.

Despite some of those concerns, on Friday, the Save-on-Foods chain introduced its new Wine Section for a store at Prince George's Spruceland shopping centre, offering up to 900 different options when it comes to wine from producers in British Columbia and beyond.

The Prince George location made use of a wine licence program issued through the BC wine institute.

The new service is part of the recent relaxation of liquor regulations by the provincial government, as well as introducing a number of other initiatives when it comes to purchasing alcohol products in the province. The change is making for a loosening of the rules that could see a significant shake up whe it comes to the provinces retail options and how they approach the sale of alcohol products.

You can review some of the background to introduction of choice for consumers in Prince George  from some of that city's media notes on the story.

Spruceland Save-On-Foods Opens Wine Department
Spruceland Save-On-Foods Now Sells BC Wines
BC Wines now on sale at Spruceland Save-On-Foods
Wine coming to Sprucleand's Save-On

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