Surrey supermarket welcomes wine as new liquor laws take effect
It’s no joke – British Columbians woke up on April Fool’s Day to a new era of grocery shopping in B.C.
Beginning today, customers will be able to buy wine at the supermarket under the province’s updated liquor laws. Well, one supermarket.
Save-on-Foods in South Surrey opened on Wednesday with a special “locally crafted wines” section, making it the first and only grocery store in the province currently selling liquor.
Customers will only be able to buy B.C. wine from the store, and it will be available right off the shelf instead of through a "store within a store" model touted by the government when the changes were announced.
It’s not the only change under the new rules.
Shoppers will also be treated to chilled beer and wine at government liquor stores, which can now open for longer hours and on Sundays.
Previously, chilled beer and wine was limited to privately owned stores and BC Liquor signature stores.
No new liquor licenses are being issued along with the change. Instead, private stores can transfer their licenses to grocery stores through a lottery system, the details of which the government hasn’t revealed.
Another change will see the pre-tax price appear on sticker labels instead of the after-tax price – giving the appearance that booze may be cheaper.
The government was expected to release more details in a news conference at the South Surrey Save-on-Foods 10 a.m. Wednesday.