The provincial government has announced further details and timelines on its plans to modernize Ontario’s beverage alcohol marketplace, increasing choice and convenience for Ontarians. These changes offer suppliers an opportunity to expand their distribution in Ontario.

As an agency of the provincial government, LCBO is committed to supporting government policy changes and helping our Trade partners and suppliers, as well as new and existing business customers navigate the phased approach to a more open and competitive marketplace.

Upcoming webinar for suppliers

LCBO will be holding a “Modernized Marketplace for Trade” information session on June 3 at 2pm - Register now. The session will offer an overview of key changes, what they mean for suppliers, and detail actions required for the expansion of low-alcohol ready-to-drink and large-pack sizes in the existing grocery program. Please submit questions using this form in advance of the call. For those who can’t attend, a communication will be posted to following the call.

Product call

A new Product Call (Call# 3871) has been added to the NISS system for non-LCBO listed eligible ready-to-drink (RTD) products for the Grocery and Convenience store catalogue, similar to existing calls for beer, cider, and wine. The Grocery Operations team will contact suppliers to verify existing (listed in LCBO) RTD and large-pack beer SKUs for onboarding to the catalogue. No action in NISS is required at this time.

How LCBO is preparing for marketplace changes

LCBO is taking steps to establish the foundation for this new marketplace. This includes ensuring that the right people, support, and systems are in place to service new and existing customers and we have the optimal warehouse approach to meet demand. A few key updates include:

  • The establishment of a new interim Grocery & Convenience team, led by Leanne Rhee, who is currently the Director of Grocery Operations. This team will help onboard new customers, facilitate orders, and provide day-to-day support. The Grocery Operations team, led in the interim by Archie Karanxha, who is currently the Director of Commercial Services, Director, will continue to serve existing grocery customers.

  • We need to scale our distribution network to prepare to meet increased demand. Therefore, LCBO is expanding its partnership with Trillium Supply Chain Services and opening a new warehouse to support our wholesale role for new private retailers. Our four LCBO-run warehouses will continue to serve our existing customers, our LCBO retail stores, The Beer Store, Duty Free Operators, and the current 450 grocers.

In addition to our wholesale role, LCBO remains committed to operating as a best-in-class retailer, providing customers with an extensive product selection, knowledgeable employees, and remarkable service — all while giving back to the province of Ontario.