Vancouver to become first B.C. city to have liquor stores inside grocery stores

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      Buying groceries and something to drink is about to become more convenient in Vancouver.

      No longer will shoppers have to get out of the grocery store to go to a liquor store to pick up beer, wine, and spirits.

      Vancouver is expected to become to the first city in B.C. to allow liquor stores inside grocery stores.

      To enable this store-in-store model, city staff have recommended amendments to the zoning and development bylaw.

      The changes will create a new retail use called “grocery store with liquor store”.

      The amendments will be subject to a public hearing scheduled Tuesday (April 17).

      According to a staff report, provincial regulations require that grocery stores have to be at least 10,000 square feet in size in order to be able to host a liquor store.

      Staff pointed out that the store-in-store model will not expand areas zoned for liquor retail because this will be permitted only in sites where both liquor stores and grocery stores are currently allowed.

      The liquor stores will be in a separate area with their own cashiers.

      On June 14, 2017, council approved a staff recommendation to allow grocery stores to host liquor stores as part of a larger review of the city’s liquor policies.

      The review followed changes in provincial liquor regulations that started in 2014.

      These provincial changes included allowing the sale of liquor in grocery stores in either of two models: wine-on-shelf, and store-in-store.

      Vancouver city staff recommended the store-in-store model because of health and safety concerns related to making wines available on grocery shelves.

      When council approved the store-in-store model in June 2017, city staff have informed council there were at least 11 communities in B.C. that have grocery stores selling wine on their shelves.