The Toronto Star reports that the LCBO has opened up their retailing business to include selling alcoholic beverages on-line, along with the option of home delivery (by Canada Post, it seems, oddly), or delivery to an LCBO store of choice.
This will, of course, allow for the selection of many products that cannot normally be stocked in bricks-and-mortar locations, where shelf space is limited. Meantime, virtual listings can allow for the ordering of obscure or less popular products that live only at warehouses.
Modernization. That’s the new-age standard for alcohol. Such modern mechanisms of e-commerce will likely allow for small brewers and small vintners – such as little guys in Ontario, BC and Quebec – to carve out a market for their products, where the old-fashioned way of getting stuff onto the shelves of The Beer Store or the LCBO just wasn’t or isn’t feasible.
Now, home delivery isn’t new. Private companies have been offering beer, wine and liquor delivery for many years, in places like Toronto, Barrie and other cities throughout Ontario. Now it’s just one of the big guns wading into the same business. Maybe The Beer Store will follow suit with a phone service for home delivery – just like ordering a pizza.
Unfortunately, beer isn’t pizza. While I don’t fault any little brewer for trying to peddle his wares, it remains that pizza on the average, doesn’t cause seven types of cancer…or cause folks to get violent…or act as a catalyst for accidental pregnancy.
Alcohol is not a regular, everyday commodity, like pizza or pens or popcorn. Alcohol is a very special thing, that needs to be governed in a way that respects its potential for harm. Ultra-convenient alcohol seems to me the opposite.