The Provincial government has quietly introduced minimum prices for alcohol this week.
Alliance of Beverage Licensees Executive Director Jeff Guignard says the new minimum prices won’t mean a price hike.
“It is trying to ensure that no one is really going to have to raise prices. I think the government’s goal here is to have no real impact on the price point for consumers. They just want avoid a situation where you could see someone trying to price gouge or using alcohol as a loss leader. It is socially irresponsible to do that you don’t want to be encuraging intoxication and low price points can do that.”
Guignard says it also blocks licencees selling ultra-cheap booze.
“I think if you look around the world some jurisdictions, some grocery stores, have two buck chuck where there is a wine on special because it is owned by the gorcery store or something like that so they sell it for a couple of dollars. That is now going to be, as of May 1st when these prices come into place, that will be illegal in British Columbia. So they won’t be able to deeply discount that way just to use it as a loss leader to get people into the store.”
A six pack of beer can’t sell for less than $6.53 while a bottle of wine won’t go lower than $4.63.
It has been almost a year since the province introduced wholesale liquor pricing to level the playing field.
ABLE BC Executive Director Jeff Guingnard says prices have jumped up and down.
“We have noticed a lot of price fluctuations. As everybody adjusted to the new system as retailers adjusted to how they purchase I think that different products have moved around a little bit and some have gone up a little.”
On average he says the price of booze hasn’t moved much.
A full list of the minimum price requirements is below.