As we get closer to the holidays, I wanted to share another supply chain update in the spirit of continued transparency and to reassure you that we will continue to have a great selection of international products and local beer, wine and spirits this holiday season.
We’ve been asking our customers to shop early this year for the best selection of holiday favourites, be flexible about product selection, and take the opportunity to try something new if a particular product is temporarily unavailable. We’ve also made it clear that our knowledgeable employees are available in-store to help customers make alternative choices.
We know our Wholesale customers have been working with their LCBO representatives to do the same. We appreciate all of our customers’ continued patience should they notice occasional product unavailability.
When it comes to the main supply chain issues impacting the international beverage alcohol industry, they remain consistent with my last update:
Transportation issues: We continue to experience transportation issues (imbalance of equipment, congestion in ports, and blank sailings) with products that are imported to Canada. The widespread flooding throughout the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions, and subsequent disruption to major trade routes, has added to these challenges. This particularly affects the availability of Australian and New Zealand wines which are received through this port. We are working closely with our partners and hope that trade routes can be re-established shortly.
Supplier/production issues: Evolving consumer demand, the availability of raw materials such as glass and aluminum and challenging growing conditions in some areas of the world such as France and New Zealand, have impacted some vendors’ production schedules.
These global supply chain challenges are not new, nor are they unique to the LCBO. We started proactive planning in Spring 2021 by collaborating with our partners, pulling forward orders and increasing our inventory of local products.
We remain committed to working closely with our international supply chain partners and suppliers to stay informed and plan accordingly to ensure that our position remains strong. Our facilities and technologies are fully operational, and our supply chain network continues to run seven days a week.
We thank you for your ongoing partnership and patience as we work together to ensure that Ontarians find the perfect choice this holiday season.
Take care and stay safe,
Chief Supply Chain Officer