Ontario consumers will be able to buy alcohol through a new online ordering service that will bring products from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to their doorsteps through Canada Post, Ontario's finance minister said Tuesday.
"Consumers who may not have their favourite product at their local store will now have over 5,000 products available right at their fingertips, and they will be able to find what they need with the click of a mouse and. more importantly, get it delivered to their door or their favourite LCBO," Charles Sousa said at an LCBO store in Toronto.
Sousa said shipping to LCBO stores will be free, with a minimum order of $50, while home delivery will come through Canada Post for a fee of $12 per order plus tax.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is on board with Canada Post's services being expanded and says its members are well equipped to handle the job.
"Our members are perfectly capable of delivering this in a timely manner and verifying ID to ensure this doesn't fall into the hands of minors," said the union's national president, Mike Palecek.
Home delivery orders will arrive within two to three days; pick-up orders will be available in store within four to 12 days, according to the LCBO.
Sousa said the new LCBO.com service is designed to make shopping easier for customers and shows the commitment of the LCBO to evolve and modernize.
He said the site means the LCBO is giving Ontario wineries and breweries access to more "virtual shelf space," which will increase their reach to consumers who may not always have access to their products in local stores.
"The launch of the online ordering is directly connected the government's priority to grow the economy, all the while the LCBO dividends continue to fund key government services like health care and education," Sousa said. "Online ordering also supports our government's work to increase convenience and choice for consumers and to make every life easier."
Sousa said wines from B.C. and Quebec will also be available at LCBO.com after an agreement reached last week by the premiers of the three provinces.
The LCBO said 800 of the products available online will be exclusive to LCBO.com and will not be available in any of their retail outlets.
George Soleas, LCBO president and CEO, said the new ordering service shows the LCBO is improving its customer service.
"It's a very, very exciting day for all of us," he said.
"Online shopping at LCBO.com enables us to offer a convenient customer experience in a changing marketplace," he said in a statement. "This new virtual LCBO store is a natural extension of our in-store shopping experience."
Customers must prove they are of legal drinking age before placing an order, and valid identification will be required for customers to accept a package at a store or at home.
In fiscal 2015-16, LCBO reported $5.57 billion in sales and delivered its 22nd consecutive record dividend to the province of $1.935 billion, excluding taxes.