If you’re planning a trip to the LCBO, you may be in for a rude surprise.

The Post visited LCBO stores in Keswick, Sutton and Pefferlaw, where employees were frantically trying to fill empty shelves with product from other sections of the store. 

In the Keswick location, the problem was so bad that staff were instructed to move expensive vintage wine onto end aisle displays, normally reserved for less expensive product, to ensure they wouldn’t look empty.

The problem seems to be more severe with high-demand coolers, ciders and beer.  For instance, popular brands, like Smirnoff Ice, where either out-of-stock or had only a few bottles left.

According to the LCBO, the problem stems from the introduction of a new supply-chain management system that has disrupted deliveries across Ontario. 

The LCBO has not released any information indicating when the problem will be resolved, however, it has stated that the product is available in its warehouses, it just can’t seem to get it to the stores.

The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents LCBO workers, said his union has met with the agency about the issue.  

Warren “Smokey” Thomas said the union has been given no information about when the problem will be resolved.

He said the agency is replacing a distribution system that had touted as the best in the world and he wasn’t sure why it needed to be changed.

“When you switch computer systems … sometimes it goes smooth, sometimes it doesn’t,” he said. “This one is not going smooth.”

Thomas added that he hoped frustrated customers don’t direct their anger over the delays at employees who are working hard to move product out to stores and fill shelves.

“It’s not the fault of the people who are stocking the shelves or doing the deliveries,” he said. “(The LCBO) took something that wasn’t broken and tried to fix it.”

Empty shelf in Keswick LCBO
Three lonely bottles
LCBO wants its customers to try a substitute product; hopefully it’s in stock

with files from CP

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