Napalm Frog wrote:One lady I spoke to today said that they didn't bother fridging Robohop cause they knew it would move fast.
The problem with that line of thought is that if they're wrong and it doesn't
move fast, then now they've got a bunch of stale shelf turds with muddy, off-hop flavours that no one with a clue is ever going to buy, at least not for full price. I have always felt that the LCBO should prioritize certain types of beer with regard to cold storage (specifically, anything hop-centric such as pale ales or IPAs).
I'm curious, if they know what beer geeks are into (I know at least three of the Summerhill employees are beer geeks), why not stock the fridge section with the nicer/seasonal beers, rather than the bottom shelf contract brews?
I have no inside knowledge whatsoever of the LCBO's floorspace managing strategies, but I'll lob out a few unsubstantiated guesses:
a) a combination of the limited fridge space available in most stores, together with good ol' managerial incompetence/indifference.
b) the drunks who buy those imported/macro lagers have in the past complained to staff that their favourite crappy beer isn't cold and now they have to wait an hour to chill them at home before they can drink them and this is an indefensible outrage, sir.
Let's not also forget that macro lagers still comprise a huge portion of overall beer sales in this province. The LCBO might be inclined to keep that stuff on the cold shelves simply because it encourages the typical TBS customer (who is driving directly home to pound cheap lager in front of the HNIC broadcast or whatever) to pop into the LCBO for a six-pack of cold beer once in a while. I doubt these people would ever bother spending their beer money at the LCBO if their favourite brands were always at room temperature.
I suppose it's also possible that macro brewers who can afford to pay for the privilege are simply paying to have their beers stocked on refrigerated shelves, but again, I don't work in the industry and have no proof of this. I do think it's suspicious that every LCBO - from huge urban stores to tiny outlets in rural Crumbum County - will ALWAYS have at least some, if not all, of their Bud/Molson/etc. stocked in their refrigerated space, regardless of how limited said space is. I suppose b) also adequately explains this phenomenon, but it still smells fishy to me.
Either way, their handling of macro stuff is clearly in stark contrast to the shelves full of unrefrigerated craft beer that you will see in almost
every LCBO. I say "almost" because there are a handful of newer stores (built or renovated within the last few years) that do seem to keep 90% of their beer SKUs refrigerated. But these outlets always feature a huge cold room near the back, which mostly eliminates "limited fridge space" as a factor. Thankfully, the one near me falls into this category.