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Wine with groceries soon to be a reality in Penticton

Penticton's Save-On-Foods is making preparations to open its wine boutique in early April 2017.
March 08, 2017 - 10:45 AM

PENTICTON - Penticton shoppers will soon be able to pick up a bottle of wine in the same store they buy their groceries.

Overwaitea Food Group spokesperson Julie Dickson says they expect to open the wine boutique at their Penticton Save-On-Foods store early next month. Renovations to the store are currently underway.

Dickson says the grocery store will carry hundreds of different wines representing as many of the vintners participating in the B.C. VQA program as possible.

Save-On-Foods Wines of British Columbia director Steve Moriarty made a successful pitch to Penticton city council last January to allow grocery stores within the city limits to sell B.C. wines. The decision touched off a debate within the community as many private liquor stores said the move would negatively affect their industry.

It was hoped the Penticton store would be selling wine by the end of 2016, but Dickson says scheduling and timing constraints delayed the store’s renovations.

She says customers will be able to make their wine purchases along with their groceries at a regular till. They won’t however, be able to purchase wine in the self-serve checkouts.

“If a cashier is underage and attempts to ring through a wine sale, the scan will stop and a manager will be automatically contacted to complete the transaction,” she says, adding in addition to the technological measures in place, the store will follow procedures for liquor sales to the letter of the law with respect to requesting identification.

Dickson says the store did not have to eliminate any products to fit the wine boutique into the store, even though she says the store is undergoing a “fairly extensive realignment.”

“We do it in a way to optimize our shelf space through more creative use of space. We haven’t discontinued any product lines,” she says.

The move is seen by the company as a win-win for local producers and consumers.

“We’re super excited to be opening in Penticton. It’s so fantastic for local farmers and wine growers to give them this access, and our customers seem to like it. We see it as another way of supporting local, because we’re local, too,” Dickson says.


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