Select grocery stores in Waterloo Region are looking a little greener these days, not because of produce but thanks to the bottle-coloured signs indicating which checkouts can process beer sales.
After the launch of a pilot project by the provincial government to make beer available inside Ontario grocery stores in December, the province promised to further open up liquor sales to 70 stores by the fall of 2016. That means shoppers could soon pick up wine under the same roof where they buy their cheese.
Mark Shedden is general manager of the Real Canadian Superstore in Kitchener, one of two Waterloo region stores that are part of the pilot.
Here are some of the ways his grocery store is looking different since stocking beer, and what you might soon find at a grocery store near you.
- Two prominent displays at the end of aisles called "endcaps," one for domestic product and another for craft breweries.
- Cashiers certified by Smart Serve, the province's required training for all servers of alcoholic beverages.
- Certified cashiers wear green shirts that read "Beer Here," showing shoppers which checkouts they can pay for alcohol at.
- Green signs hang at checkouts indicating that they are beer-ready. About half the tills at Shedden's store can process beer sales but exactly how many can depend on the day, the time of year and staff availability.
- Underage grocery store employees cannot stock or handle alcohol, so they're likely to be staffed in the produce or general merchandise sections of the store.