Build Bigger LCBO Stores

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Swampale
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Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby Swampale » Mon May 04, 2015 6:28 am

I hear a lot about shelf space being limited in most or not all LCBO stores. My solution is to build bigger stores. I mean big LCBO stores. If the LCBO is serious about Craft Beer, make the stores bigger. I mean they certainly have the money especially with a monopoly on spirits for one. Take Total Wines for example in the US. It was as big as a Costco. All of the LCBO stores in my town are way too small. In my opinion, selling beer in grocery stores will not free up shelf space at the LCBO's.
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lister
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby lister » Mon May 04, 2015 8:08 am

I've proposed the idea of a multi-floor LCBO before particularly for urban areas. Floor one has all the usual (bad) suspects for easy in and out. After that each floor is dedicated to a particular type of booze. Usual wines. Usual spirits. Beer. Vintages. Five floors of goodness, minimum.
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Craig
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby Craig » Mon May 04, 2015 9:06 am

I think you're more likely to see specialty stores that cater to the beer geeks in urban centres than you are megastores. Reason being that rent is too expensive in the city and the demand isn't big enough outside of it.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby Belgian » Mon May 04, 2015 11:09 am

A lot of times shelf space isn't that limited, the store is afraid of having too many SKUs to manage, items of stock. I find that hypocritical for a crown business that decides to take on the entire potential market, to then stymie the opportunity. Much smaller store spaces in American cities manage to offer a lot more.

But of course larger actual stores would help, and you could argue that with more to sell they could do that efficiently. That is exactly why city rents are higher to begin with, and it's not like they don't have guaranteed revenue and stability to establish a few pilot stores.

It is just taking time to recover from the extremely institutional style of these government stores. And with any new change it has to look like it was their idea, LOL.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby saints_gambit » Mon May 04, 2015 11:18 am

I think that part of the selection process could be managed by changing the selection of inventory from being under the purview of the local store manager to a centralized planning office that would be able to better manage inventory across the entire chain. There are doubtless rural managers who don't want to put craft beer on the shelves because they think it won't move without being able to see the larger inventory picture and how it effects the rest of the market. In order to really break through, what craft needs is markets outside of the urban centres and I don't think you get that with bigger stores that have the same managers. You get it with targeted selection.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby El Pinguino » Mon May 04, 2015 10:34 pm

Or eliminate the "Party Zone" areas with mixes, pre-made shots and coolers! Haha...ya only 1/2 joking on that.

I've had dreams about a magical beer warehouse nearby where I could wander aisles, while drinking a beer...ahhhh.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby biegaman » Fri May 22, 2015 8:49 pm

saints_gambit wrote:I think that part of the selection process could be managed by changing the selection of inventory from being under the purview of the local store manager to a centralized planning office that would be able to better manage inventory across the entire chain.

In fact, that is more or less the way it works now. The LCBO selects only certain stores to qualify for the "specialty beer release program" (aka seasonals) and force allocates them the brands. Other stores that attempt to order those specialty or seasonal beers may or may not be sent them (that decision is made by a centralized planning office like you mention). Same goes for vintages: the big stores get everything (or nearly) from the new releases while small stores are only allowed certain brands, after a certain time, if inventory levels permit. Same goes for craft beer: managers can attempt to order but ultimately it's someone at head office that looks at sales, demographics, existing inventory levels and then decides. Not only that but they limit stores to a limited number of brands and constantly give them shit for going over that number. A large percentage of that SKU count is considered "core brands" which a manager has no choice but to carry. Those are decided at head office also.

It's interesting: a lot of the managers I deal with would love to stock every craft brand and seasonal if they were allowed. Conversely, stores in places like Brampton and parts of Scarborough that are forced to carry OCB or seasonals hate having to since all their volume and sales go to cheap domestics and high-visibility imports like Corona and Heineken.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby saints_gambit » Wed May 27, 2015 9:47 am

biegaman wrote:
saints_gambit wrote:I think that part of the selection process could be managed by changing the selection of inventory from being under the purview of the local store manager to a centralized planning office that would be able to better manage inventory across the entire chain.

In fact, that is more or less the way it works now. The LCBO selects only certain stores to qualify for the "specialty beer release program" (aka seasonals) and force allocates them the brands. Other stores that attempt to order those specialty or seasonal beers may or may not be sent them (that decision is made by a centralized planning office like you mention). Same goes for vintages: the big stores get everything (or nearly) from the new releases while small stores are only allowed certain brands, after a certain time, if inventory levels permit. Same goes for craft beer: managers can attempt to order but ultimately it's someone at head office that looks at sales, demographics, existing inventory levels and then decides. Not only that but they limit stores to a limited number of brands and constantly give them shit for going over that number. A large percentage of that SKU count is considered "core brands" which a manager has no choice but to carry. Those are decided at head office also.

It's interesting: a lot of the managers I deal with would love to stock every craft brand and seasonal if they were allowed. Conversely, stores in places like Brampton and parts of Scarborough that are forced to carry OCB or seasonals hate having to since all their volume and sales go to cheap domestics and high-visibility imports like Corona and Heineken.


Exactly. If you actually download the LCBO inventory tarball and pick through it you can forecast trends based on region. I don't know why they aren't doing that more effectively. It's not that hard to bung it into a SQL database and visualize it on google maps from a historical perspective.
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napoleon
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby napoleon » Wed May 27, 2015 10:00 am

The stores don't need to be that much bigger. If you visit any of the great beer stores in the US or elsewhere, some of them are quite small. They just don't decide that they need shelf space for 48 beers of each kind stacked 8 across and 6 deep. Instead they put fewer bottles on display. Existing stores could easily fit many more varieties. I'm really hoping that some of the purchasing could be directed directly by the managers of the new craft beer-centric varieties.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby Craig » Wed May 27, 2015 10:03 am

napoleon wrote:The stores don't need to be that much bigger. If you visit any of the great beer stores in the US or elsewhere, some of them are quite small. They just don't decide that they need shelf space for 48 beers of each kind stacked 8 across and 6 deep. Instead they put fewer bottles on display. Existing stores could easily fit many more varieties. I'm really hoping that some of the purchasing could be directed directly by the managers of the new craft beer-centric varieties.


Most bottles don't need 9 inches of clearance above them either. The LCBO do a terrible job of shelving beer.
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Re: Build Bigger LCBO Stores

Postby biegaman » Wed May 27, 2015 5:26 pm

Craig wrote:Most bottles don't need 9 inches of clearance above them either. The LCBO do a terrible job of shelving beer.

To say nothing of merchandising! There's a lot of existing stores that are massive (see: Brampton, Woodbridge, etc) but they do little with room they have. Walk into almost any LCBO and take a look at how much dead space there is. An independent beer or wine retailer from the US or anywhere in Europe would go nuts to have that much floor space!
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ISO punchline

Postby Belgian » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:02 pm

Q: How many LCBO staff does it take to screw in an SKU?
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Re: ISO punchline

Postby ercousin » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:43 am

Belgian wrote:Q: How many LCBO staff does it take to screw UP an SKU?


FTFY
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