Many events – major and minor – have occurred since the first LCBO stores were opened on June 1, 1927. Here are some:
Efforts to promote go local marketing paid off in
2011 with Ontario craft beer and VQA table wine sales climbing nearly 45 per
cent and nine per cent, respectively, over 2010.
Overall, LCBO achieved a 4.9 per cent sales increase
in 2011, outpacing both the Canadian and Ontario retail sectors. Seasonally
adjusted retail sales increased 4.5 per cent year-over-year for all of Canada
while Ontario retail sales grew by 3.4 per cent. Net sales totalled $4.710
billion, up $218 million from 2010, As a result, LCBO transferred an all-time
high $1.63 billion dividend, not including taxes, to the Ontario Government,
representing an $80 million – or 5.2 per cent – increase from the previous year.
Net income totalled $1.658 billion, up $98 million (6.3 per cent), from 2010.
It was LCBO’s 17th straight year of record sales and
18th consecutive record dividend. These financials have yet to be audited. LCBO
revenues help the provincial government pay for health care, education, social
programs, infrastructure and other important government services.
VINTAGES, LCBO’s fine wine and premium spirits
business unit, saw sales rise to $425 million, up 10.2 per cent, over the
previous year’s total of $386 million.
In 2011, LCBO opened 13 new stores and carried out
major upgrades on two outlets. These retail improvements contributed some $14.5
million in additional sales.
During 2011-12, LCBO retail staff challenged 6.3
million people who appeared underage or intoxicated. More than 290,000 were
refused service. Eight-four per cent of refusals were for reasons of age.
Deflate the Elephant, LCBO’s social responsibility
campaign, featured a “Home Bartending Challenge,” a Facebook pledge photo
contest and TV commercials during the summer and holiday season encouraging
hosts to help prevent their guests from drinking and driving. It was LCBO’s 13th
annual social responsibility campaign.
More than $6.2 million was raised for worthy causes
in 2011 through customer donations at LCBO checkouts and employee fundraising
As the economy improved, the LCBO saw greater demand
for premium wines, spirits and craft beers. Overall sales increased by 5.6 per
cent to a record $4.55 billion, enabling us to deliver a $1.55 billion dividend
to the provincial government. This figure does not include $646 million in GST,
HST, excise taxes and import duties. When payments to municipalities were
included, the total was $2.3 billion. Net income rose $127 million to $1.56
billion, up 8.8 per cent. (As of June 2011, these figures were unaudited.)
LCBO opened 19 new stores and carried out major
upgrades to 32 outlets. These retail improvements contributed about $18 million
in additional sales.
The LCBO broadened its core values and employee
promise to further entrench workplace health and safety into its culture. This
means increasing our awareness, planning communication and actions to keep the
LCBO workplaces and employees healthy and safe. It’s a commitment that will be
maintained with the same vigilance as social responsibility and customer
LCBO staff challenged nearly 3.6 million people who
appeared underage or intoxicated, up almost 35 per cent from the previous year.
More than 192,000 were refused service – a 24 per cent increase – with 82 per
cent for reasons of age.
Customer and staff goodwill prevailed throughout
2010. More than $5.4 million was raised for worthy causes and disaster relief
efforts in 2010 through customer donations at LCBO checkouts and employee
LCBO’s highly successful social responsibility
campaign, Deflate the Elephant, was expanded to include an iPhone application
and a Facebook page to encourage hosts to help prevent their guests from
drinking and driving.
The LCBO delivered its 16th record dividend – $1.41
billion – to the provincial government for health care, education, social
programs, infrastructure and other important government services. This figure,
which does not include taxes, was $10 million (0.7 per cent higher) than the
previous year. Our net sales also set a new record at $4.3 billion, 0.9 per cent
higher than the year before. The provincial, federal and municipal governments
also received $874 million in taxes, import duties and payments to
During this fiscal year, LCBO staff challenged more
than 2.6 million people who appeared underage or intoxicated, up 9.8 per cent
from 2008. Some 155,000 were refused service, a four per cent increase, the vast
majority for reasons of age.
On June 23, the eve of a strike deadline set by the
Liquor Board Employees Division of OPSEU, LCBO stores experienced their heaviest
sales day in history. Customers spent a total of $56 million. A tentative
agreement was reached between both sides that was later ratified by union
members, approved by the LCBO Board of Directors and subsequently passed by the
Government of Ontario through an Order-In-Council.
The “goLOCAL” thematic campaign was reintroduced
last fall and this promotion led to $26.7 million in net sales – a
year-over-year increase of 10.4 per cent.
In November, LCBO launched its new social
responsibility ad campaign Deflate the Elephant which encourages friends and
families to play a proactive role in helping prevent people from driving while
intoxicated. The ads acknowledge that drinking and driving can be “the elephant
in the room” and, with the help of an interactive challenge (www.deflatetheelephant.com),
offers suggestions on how to broach this awkward topic and help deter drinking
In a testament to the generosity of LCBO customers
and staff, a record $1.9 million was raised for the United Way, surpassing last
year’s total by 25 per cent.
Staff at all LCBO stores raised a record $1.8
million for MADD Canada and four Ontario paediatric hospitals in December. The
amount surpassed the 2008 total by almost $1 million. As well, LCBO employees
and customers raised $571,000 for the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Relief
Fund through a special prompted donation/cash box program in stores.
In 2008, LCBO launched its new Five-Year
Strategic Plan for 2008-13 with the theme, “Living the Brand,” which serves as
LCBO’s strategic blueprint.
Net sales topped $4 billion ($4.27 billion) for the
second consecutive year. LCBO also delivered a record $1.4 billion dividend, not
including taxes, to the Ontario government.
LCBO staff challenged some 2.4 million people who
appeared underage or intoxicated, up 17.5 per cent from 2007. Some 149,000
were refused service, an 11 per cent increase, the vast majority for reasons of
During this fiscal year, LCBO continued to introduce
significant environmental initiatives. In May, plastic bags were phased out in
all stores to encourage customers to opt for reusable alternatives. This policy
eliminated some 80 million plastic bags. Sales and Marketing also encouraged
suppliers to offer more products in lightweight packaging. LCBO’s new
Scarborough store marked another environmental initiative, as the first using
many Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) features, such as
energy and potable water reduction.
In September, LCBO partnered with the Ontario wine
industry to launch “Go Local,” LCBO’s largest domestic wine promotion to date.
Sales grew by 10.4 per cent over the previous year and VINTAGES sales jumped
11.1 per cent. Consumer enthusiasm for Ontario wines was also reflected in
year-end numbers indicating a 6.4 per cent sales increase.
In October, vintagesshoponline was launched,
offering premium products exclusively to online shoppers in small lots of
special interest to collectors.
Sales in 2007 were $4.1 billion and the
LCBO delivered a $1.345 billion dividend to the Ontario government. This did not
include $382 million in PST, $119 million in GST and $339 million in excise and
import duties. When payments to municipalities were added, the total was $2.2
LCBO staff challenged more than two million people
who appeared underage or intoxicated, up 11 per cent. More than
134,000 were refused service, a nine per cent increase, the vast majority for
reasons of age.
Considerable progress was made on the LCBO’s
environmental program, including support of Bag it Back, the Ontario
government’s new deposit return program, in which deposits on purchases made at
the LCBO are refunded at The Beer Store when products are returned. More than
250 million beverage alcohol containers were returned in the first year.
The number of products in alternative packaging
increased to almost 200, enabling the LCBO to meet its goal of eliminating 10
million kilograms of packaging waste per year – a full two years ahead of
In 2006, LCBO sales
were a record $3.6 billion and the dividend paid to government a record $1.2
billion. Including PST, GST, excise taxes, import duties and payments to
municipalities, the total was more than $2 billion.
Improvements to the LCBO supply chain resulted in
improved inventory management, more frequent product turns and a $100 million
reduction in inventory investment while substantially growing sales, and earned
the LCBO two Advancement in Supply Chain Awards from the Retail Council of
Net sales reached $3.5 billion and the annual dividend hit a record $1.115 billion, not including taxes. This was the 10th straight record dividend and the second annual dividend of more than $1 billion.
A survey of nearly 1,000 readers of Canadian Business magazine named the LCBO one of the top 10 best managed brands in Canada and a Corporate Reputation Study conducted by an independent survey company placed the LCBO 15 out of the top 100 companies in Ontario.
LCBO net sales in 2004 reached
$3.3 billion and the annual dividend hits a record $1.04 billion – the ninth
straight record dividend. The dividend, together with $308 million in PST and
$407 million in GST, excise taxes and import duties and payments to
municipalities, amounted to $1.8 billion to help pay for important government
services and capital projects. In the past nine years, sales grew 73 per cent
and the dividend rose 52 per cent. The LCBO introduced its new Discover the
World brand vision, to take customers on a journey of learning and discovery
so that informed choices can be made more easily. LCBO received its highest
ratings ever from customer satisfaction surveys with 80 per cent of respondents
indicating they were highly satisfied or satisfied with LCBO service. Only one
per cent said they were dissatisfied.
Revenues since 1991 grew
to $3.1 billion from $1.8 billion and the annual dividend increased from $675
million to $975 million. Employees challenged 1.1 million would-be customers
because they appeared underage or intoxicated or appeared to be second-party
purchasers. Nearly 70,000 were refused service, mostly for age-related reasons.
The LCBO Summerhill store, the LCBO’s Toronto flagship liquor outlet, opened in
LCBO had a record transfer
to the Ontario treasury of a $905 million. The LCBO also collected $270 million
in provincial sales tax and $385 million in federal taxes. The Minister of
Consumer and Business Services announced an expansion of agency stores, operated
in partnership with the LCBO by established retailers in communities without
large enough population bases to support regular LCBO or Beer Stores.
LCBO’s Challenge and
Refusal program, under which employees ask potential customers for proof of age,
challenged more than one million and refused service to 80,000. A groundbreaking
ceremony marked the beginning of the restoration of Toronto’s Summerhill store
in Toronto, housed in a former train station with grand architectural features,
including marble walls, a 40 ft. ceiling, brass wickets and a clock tower. It's
the largest store in the LCBO network.
LCBO launched Welcome Home
to Ontario Wine Country, a month-long promotion showcasing 74 wines, including
49 premium Ontario VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wines, the most of any LCBO
promotion. Some 6,800 LCBO employees took part in Wonderful Ontario Wines –
from Vines to Wines, a training program taking employees from all parts of
the province on tours of Ontario’s wine regions. LCBO opened a new flagship
store in Ottawa at Rideau and King Edward streets. Like the Bayview Village
Store in Toronto, it offers the complete range of LCBO products and services,
including a separate VINTAGES tasting room. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce
honoured the LCBO with an Outstanding Business Achievement Award.
LCBO opened Canada’s
largest liquor store in the Bayview Village Plaza in Toronto. It has 20,000 sq.
ft. of retail space. The store won Best Layout and Design Award from the Retail
Council of Canada. The store also featured many other aspects of LCBO’s
The Retail Council of
Canada named LCBO “Innovative Retailer of the Year” in the large store category
for the second year in a row. LCBO adopted a whole branding strategy and began
promoting itself as The Source for Entertaining Ideas. LCBO raised
$227,000 for Canadian Commonwealth Games athletes during Quest For Glory
LCBO won two awards –
“Innovative Retailer of the Year” and “Socially Responsible Retailer” – in the
large store category at the national Excellence in Retailing Awards competition
of the Retail Council of Canada. The Innovative Retailer of the Year award
acknowledged overall industry leadership and innovative approaches to customer
and employee relations. The Socially Responsible Retailer award recognized the
LCBO’s efforts in promoting the responsible use of beverage alcohol. LCBO stores
were allowed to open on Sundays year-round after several successful pilot
programs. LCBO opened a Bottle-Your-Own (BYO) wine facility at its Crossroads
Mall store in Toronto as a pilot project.
LCBO introduced BYID
(Bring Your Identification) photo ID card to make it easier to determine if
customers are of legal drinking age. The new Check 25 program was launched to
encourages LCBO employees to ask anyone who appears 25 years or younger for
valid proof of age before they are served. LCBO introduced AIR MILES® Rewards as
value-added feature for customers. The LCBO transferred $680 million to the
Limited-Time-Offer (LTO) program, offering price reductions of up to 20 per cent
on 40 selected products each month. Financial Post Magazine ranked the
LCBO as Canada’s most profitable company. LCBO opened a prototype IMAGE store in
Toronto’s Manulife Centre. It is the first to feature a demonstration kitchen
for cooking presentations and product seminars. LCBO opened a Chinese mini-store
LCBO launched debit/credit
card pilot project in selected stores. By 1995, all LCBO stores accept
debit/credit card payments. LCBO introduced mandatory three-level product
knowledge training program for its retail employees. The VINTAGES Classics
Catalogue was launched, allowing consumers to place phone or fax orders for
500 of the world’s premier wines and spirits featured in each edition. Customers
rated staff friendliness and helpfulness 9.1 out of 10.
LCBO Shop the World
marketing program was launched, presenting major in-store thematic promotions
throughout the year. A Value Added program was introduced, allowing suppliers to
market products with small add-ons such as miniature bottles and accessories.
LCBO’s free customer publication, LCBO Today, was revamped as FOOD &
DRINK, offering more information on food and beverage matching, recipes and
responsible hosting tips.
The first LCBO mini-store
opened in Toronto’s First Canadian Place. Refrigerated displays offering chilled
products were introduced in LCBO stores. LCBO introduced tutored tastings in
selected stores as a customer education feature. LCBO formed an alcohol
task force with government and enforcement agencies to combat illicit alcohol
trade. A computerized inventory and cash register system was introduced
throughout the LCBO store network. A point-of-sale (POS) project was installed
in virtually all LCBO stores.
LCBO revamped its top 140
performing stores to make them more customer friendly and to portray a
consistent new corporate image. A new computer system linking all LCBO stores,
warehouses and LCBO head office was completed.
A new $1.7 million LCBO
Quality Assurance laboratory opened.
Chairman Jack Ackroyd
toured the province, conveying to employees the changes being brought about by
Project ’87, an action program based on recommendations by management consultant
firm William Mercer Associates. The focus moved LCBO from a control-based
distributor to a customer-focused retailer.
The LCBO unveiled a new
The first in-store
merchandising program was introduced; the Durham Logistics Facility opened for
business; the first VINTAGES store opened.
The legal drinking age in
Ontario was increased to 19.
LCBO was incorporated as a
The first Rare Wines and
Spirits store, predecessor to VINTAGES, opened.
40-oz. bottles were
introduced as well as 80-oz. wine jugs and miniatures.
The legal drinking age in
Ontario was reduced to 18 from 21.
The first self-serve LCBO
store opened at 10 South Station St. (Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue area) in
Weston, now part of the City of Toronto.
An LCBO training centre
conducted a two-day wine tasting seminar – a first for LCBO.
Changes were made to
Liquor Licence Act regulations concerning hours of operation of licensed
premises. The closing hours, in effect since wartime beer shortage days, were
lifted. Beverage rooms throughout Toronto remained open during the former
compulsory closing time of 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Liquor permits required to
purchase beverage alcohol were abolished.
The Liquor Licence Board
of Ontario (now the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) was established to
grant establishments licences to sell liquor by the glass. The first liquor was
sold at the Silver Rail tavern on Yonge Street in Toronto.
Wineries were allowed to
operate one wine store off their premises.
Hotel beverage rooms were
licensed under the LCBO to sell beer; dining rooms were licensed to sell wine
and beer but not liquor.
The LCBO opened 86 stores,
three mail order departments and four warehouses.