Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Study Reveals Most Ontario Voters Support Beer and Wine in Convenience Stores

Oakville, ON

Online/Facebook campaign launched; Voters registering their support at

A newly released Angus Reid Public Opinion study, done on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, shows that a majority of Ontarians (60%) support expanding the provinces alcohol retailing system to allow beer and wine to be sold by more types of retailers. Several other Canadian provinces, including Quebec and Newfoundland already offer the convenience of alcohol in convenience stores.

The study of 803 potential voters aged 19+ showed that two-thirds (67%) of Ontarians who had shopped at the LCBO or The Beer store in the 30 days prior to the survey, support private retailers, like convenience stores, selling alcohol like beer and wine. A majority of Ontarians across all regions also support the idea, with Eastern Ontarians showing the highest level of support (71%).

In addition to the LCBO and Beer Store, do you support or oppose the idea of allowing private retailers like corner stores to sell alcoholic beverages in Ontario?
Ontario Region% Support1% Oppose2% Don't Know
GTA (416+905)61%34%5%

1strongly support +somewhat support; 2strongly oppose+ somewhat oppose *Note: Small base size: Hamilton-Niagara (n=77), North (n=58)

"Ontario voters are simply asking for more convenience - like being able to pick-up some beer for their BBQ on Canada Day. That's not a lot to ask. When as many as two out of every three adults in Ontario support beer and wine in convenience stores, it will be interesting to see what candidates from all parties tell voters," said Dave Bryans, President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. "It's time Ontario's alcohol retailing system was expanded beyond the LCBO and The Beer Store and we're asking everyone over 19 to visit to register their support."

"A separate independent study conducted earlier this year by Statopex Field Marketing found that a great many convenience stores are ready for the responsibility of selling beer and wine. Convenience stores do a better job than either the government-run LCBO or foreign-owned Beer Store at keeping age-restricted products from minors, "said Bryans."When tested with underage secret shoppers (age 15-18), convenience stores scored the highest with an 87.3% pass rate, The Beer Store next with 80.7% and LCBO last with 74.6% - meaning 1 in 4 minors successfully purchased age-restricted products from LCBO, and 1 in 5 from The Beer Store - compared to 1 in 8 for convenience stores."

Other Angus Reid Public Opinion Study Findings

  • Overall, three-in-five Ontarians (60%) support private retailers, like convenience stores, selling alcohol like beer and wine.
  • 48 per cent of Ontarians believe The Beer Store is publicly run. Only one-in-twenty (5%) are aware it is owned by foreign multi-national corporations.
  • Ontarians list several reasons as the main benefit for allowing beer and wine in convenience stores: convenience (50%); lower prices (15%), and longer hours of operation (12%).
  • Overall 47 per cent say they'd heard positive things about corner stores selling alcohol in other provinces like Quebec or Newfoundland, while 9% had heard negative things, and 44% say they didn't know or had not heard anything. Regionally the breakdown revealed:
Region% Heard positive things% Heard negative things% Don't Know
GTA (416+905)45%6%48%

*Note: Small base size: Hamilton-Niagara (n=77), North (n=58)

The study was conducted from February 11 to February 15, 2011 by Angus Reid Public Opinion, the Public Affairs division of Vision Critical. The survey was conducted among 803 randomly selected Ontario residents age 19+ who are Angus Reid Forum panelists on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Store Association. The margin of error for this sample size is +/- 3.5, nineteen times out of twenty. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender, and region Census data to ensure the sample's representativeness of the entire Ontario adult population. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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