Liberty Ale in LCBO stores

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Manul
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Liberty Ale in LCBO stores

Postby Manul » Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:13 pm

It looks like less and less stores carry it. I used to be able to find in a few stores north of the city but not anymore. I asked a few LCBO managers why they don't bring it in and the answer was the usual: it doesn't sell. Of course it won't sell like Kozel or some other popular pilsners but, is this how we decide if a product should be available? It's a premium product and it sells in lower quantities. Is this so hard to understand? One more example of LCBO stupidity at a large scale. Will it ever end??? :x
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Postby GregClow » Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:59 pm

Yeah, I was bummed when my local LCBO dropped it last year sometime. It was the only decent beer in the "U.S." cooler of the beer area. Now, there's nothing there but cans of yellow swill and bottles of craptacular malt liquor.

On the other hand, they finally started carrying Tankhouse Ale recently, so it's not all bad.
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Re: Liberty Ale in LCBO stores

Postby pootz » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:01 pm

Manul wrote:It looks like less and less stores carry it. I used to be able to find in a few stores north of the city but not anymore. I asked a few LCBO managers why they don't bring it in and the answer was the usual: it doesn't sell. Of course it won't sell like Kozel or some other popular pilsners but, is this how we decide if a product should be available? It's a premium product and it sells in lower quantities. Is this so hard to understand? One more example of LCBO stupidity at a large scale. Will it ever end??? :x


Don't take any crap from them....If it's available they have to stock it for you on request.
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Postby DukeofYork = Richard » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:54 pm

"If it's available they have to stock it for you on request."

Really? If so, there are going to be some serious goddamn changes at the "ass-tacular" Manulife LCBO...
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Re: Liberty Ale in LCBO stores

Postby GregClow » Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:13 pm

pootz wrote:Don't take any crap from them....If it's available they have to stock it for you on request.


No, they don't.

They are supposed to order you anything that you request that is in the system (although there may be a minimum purchase of a case required).

But as far as what they stock for general sale, I believe that there is a set of core products that all stores are pretty much required to stock, and beyond that, the available products are based on a combination of the tastes & decisions of the store manager & staff, and edicts from head office based on past sales in that location.

That's what I've been told in the past, anyway.
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Postby esprit » Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:53 am

You are correct Greg, a store only has to order any available product for a customer and can demand that they order a full case but whether a product is stocked depends upon a) whether it's a core brand and b) the manager's discretion. We go through the exactly the same thing that Liberty goes through with our brands as one store after another drops brands like Duvel and Chimay because of what they consider "poor sales".
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Postby old faithful » Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:08 am

I bought two bottles of Liberty Ale the other day at the LCBO in Loblaws on St.Clair Avenue West (just west of Spadina on the north side). There seemed to be a few of them but it may be best to call before heading over there.

Gary
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Postby JerCraigs » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:10 am

All i want is one store in downtown Toronto that is free to sell whatever they want. Is that so much to ask? Whatever Esprit and Rubaiyat or whomever elses little hearts desire. Oh, the Alesmith Barleywine takes a few months to sell the whole case at $15-20 a bottle? Meh, it will survive. At least we'd have the option.

It could even be a consignment style store (ie. the importer owns the product until it is sold, and assumes ownership of any stock that doesn't sell) I don't particularly care whos running/supervising it. I don't care if the markup is a bit higher (well, within reason). But having the OPTION would be lovely. And frankly, i don't think this is all that hard. One passionate guy at the LCBO could make this happen in a heartbeat.

End Rant.
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Postby inertiaboy » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:26 am

Hi Jeremy,

All i want is one store in downtown Toronto that is free to sell whatever they want.


Have you forwarded your comments to Beverage Alcohol System Review? I sent similar comments to the contact email address so that they have my opinion, even if they choose to ignore it :cry:

I'd recommend everyone take 15 minutes or so to do the same if they are so inclined. I don't have any expectations but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised :D

Steve...
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Postby mds » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:56 am

inertiaboy wrote:Have you forwarded your comments to Beverage Alcohol System Review?

Steve...


I wonder if that place exists because I was at 777 bay 9th floor like 30 minutes ago and I didn't see a sign for it.
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Postby pootz » Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:34 pm

esprit wrote:You are correct Greg, a store only has to order any available product for a customer and can demand that they order a full case but whether a product is stocked depends upon a) whether it's a core brand and b) the manager's discretion. We go through the exactly the same thing that Liberty goes through with our brands as one store after another drops brands like Duvel and Chimay because of what they consider "poor sales".


More ammo for an appeal to take on a private retail business that stocks what they consider "poor sales".

I must have a good relationship wih the manager of my local government dairy bar because He is stocking Kostritzer for me...he probaby orders slow stock from other stores ...but he keeps a minimum of a case for me ....if I don't buy it a case at a time I will clean his case out myself in 2-3 visits.

Maybe good service in a government retail monopoly is a matter of highly developed suck holing? :lol:
Last edited by pootz on Mon May 02, 2005 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pootz
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Postby pootz » Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:12 pm

inertiaboy wrote:Hi Jeremy,

All i want is one store in downtown Toronto that is free to sell whatever they want.


Have you forwarded your comments to Beverage Alcohol System Review? I sent similar comments to the contact email address so that they have my opinion, even if they choose to ignore it :cry:

I'd recommend everyone take 15 minutes or so to do the same if they are so inclined. I don't have any expectations but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised :D

Steve...


They have my recommendation:

either supply a cost effective personal import licence so we can buy and import small quanities of specialty product the LCBO refuses to import/stock( for personal use only) OR

Allow a private enteprise to do this and take the risks they are not prepared to.
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Here, Here!

Postby Mother G » Mon May 02, 2005 6:59 pm

I like the way you think Pootz!

Unfortunately the system is set up to be managed by a governing set of "rules" that are mandated to maximize "turns".

The Category Management system set up by LCBO was created to mimic Loblaws in the sense that every inch of selling space is quantified for maximum profit. If that is what success looks like then they are full on successful.

Where things get tricky for all connoisseurs (wine , spirits and beer ) is that by definition we want variety and specialty.

What if the L.C.B.O had a designated portion of a store in the larger markets (London, Ottawa and Toronto) that had what is the beer equivalent to Vintages?

I have not run the numbers but the current trend in beer reflects wine and spirits ("drink less , drink better". With the exception of that damned value beer!) drinkers affinity for Specialty brands.

Do you ever go to the Queens Quay store and see four bottles of your favourite beer like ... Orval for instance and snort with joy over your found bounty while lurching to the counter surreptitiously?! It happens to me now and then and then and I always ask myself "Why does it run out so fast if it does not sell"?

Just my thoughts.
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pootz
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Re: Here, Here!

Postby pootz » Mon May 02, 2005 9:38 pm

Mother G wrote:I like the way you think Pootz!

Unfortunately the system is set up to be managed by a governing set of "rules" that are mandated to maximize "turns".

The Category Management system set up by LCBO was created to mimic Loblaws in the sense that every inch of selling space is quantified for maximum profit. If that is what success looks like then they are full on successful.

.


They're a success only on paper Mother. Hard for a monopoly to go in the red...the point is the profits could be so much more that could be returned as cost cuts to consumers. I wager a good buck that if a private enterprise took control they could make the same profits with half the overhead. The LCBO's "soft" losses are "buried" in the yearly fiscal reporting...they are the cost of operation write downs against gross...also the loss of business from refusing to properly service the niche'. Of course there is no private liquor chain the size of the LCBO to do a profitability comparison with so they get away with it year after year....and they are the darling of some Queen's Park deputy minister because they bring X amount of revenues into a revenue gluttonous government......but could they make more with the same resources and just a business structure change??

I realize Alberts'a experiment in privatization didn't result in the wider selection we had forcast but it did teach us that the government can't run a liquor retail monopoly at a decent profit.

That aside, the LCBO sucks up a lot of profit in operational write downs and stock write offs that a private chain would never stand for. When you consider that this is ultimately your tax money subsidizing their inefficiency or poor/timid marketing sense...it stings all the more....particularly if you are a craft beer consumer already outraged at the import blockade they represent with their "lablaws based rules".

It also explains why this lager lover has to put up with 24 brands of lack luster commie pilsners occupying shelf space where quality lagers should be...sorry...less profit in quality beers...forgot the Loblaws creedo :wink:
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