Residents of Island Grove will have to wait to see if Victoria Convenience, located at Woodbine Ave & Metro Rd. North, is granted a licence to operate as an LCBO Convenience Outlet.
This follows from the Ontario government’s June 6th announcement that it would be expanding the number of LCBO agency stores, now rebranded as LCBO Convenience Outlets, to 200 “underserviced” communities.
Island Grove was the only community selected in Georgina for the first round of the LCBO’s province-wide expansion, which will see 60 new outlets opening in August, and another 150 by December. A further expansion is planned for the spring of 2020.
Store owners Sangchoon Park, 62, and Hyangsook Park, 59, submitted an application before LCBO’s deadline of June 25th, after finding out from the Post that they were on a list of communities selected by LCBO for expansion. Nobody from the LCBO had contacted Mr. and Mrs. Park prior to the deadline.
The Parks, who have operated Victoria Convenience since 2003, must now pass two — possibly three — rounds of LCBO approvals, before they are granted authorization to sell wine, spirits and beer. These include criminal background checks, store renovations, and $30,000 to $80,000 in start-up inventory costs.
If approved, the Parks can purchase beverage alcohol at a 10% discount, but must sell it at regular LCBO prices. The contract is for five years, with an option to renew for another five years. Victoria Convenience will also be able to sell beverage alcohol until 10 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.
The Willow Beach Convenience store is also eligible, because it’s located within a 5 km radius of Island Grove’s main intersection. Store owners Dal-Ho Heo, 62, and M.Kyon Shim, 57, also applied before the deadline. Again, nobody from the LCBO contacted them directly. Mr. Heo says he received only a “gentle” reminder email from the Ontario Korean Business Association (OKBA).
LCBO’s trade website states that only one retail location can be granted an authorization for Island Grove. So, if both stores make it through the first two rounds of the approval process, a lottery process will be used to determine the winner.
For more information about the LCBO application process for convenience store owners, please go to the LCBO’s trade website: Doing Business with LCBO
There is also assistance available from the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association (OKBA)
And, the Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) also provides several articles on the subject.