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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GOSH: LCBO responds to economic downturn-crisis-turmoil -- report


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – The LCBO, A Crown Corporation, will soon be releasing its long-awaited report on how it is going to present itself to the good people of the fiscally-wracked Ontario, A Have-Not Province.


Top wine investigative reporter Brett Grimsby has been on the scene for weeks now, and he files this story based on several interviews with Miffed Mole, the collective name for our sources who are familiar with the situation, and who spoke to him on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details while they were very close to the centre of discussions and while the matter under consideration had not yet been finalized nor announced to the public:


Just how bad is the wine economy in Ontario? No matter what you call it (economic downturn, scaleback, turmoil, crisis, meltdown, et al) it is serious. Under discussion, but still to be approved by the LCBO, are the following measures:


1) Bottle your own wine returns to the LCBO as "Cellared in Canada" product, but this time you get to pick the blend yourself.


2) Mark-ups at the LCBO are to be based on distance travelled to the store where purchased; this will allow for price variation.


3) The LCBO will impose heavy penalties on heavy glass wine bottles. For one thing, they will be placed on the bottom shelves and employees have been instructed NOT to help customers lift them. For another, the deposit rises to 25 cents. Wineries will be allowed to ship and sell wines according to a maximum weight factor, and heavy bottles will eat into the weight allocated to the volume of the wines.


4) The idea of using ONLY twist tops for wines on the General List is back on the table (it never really left).


5) The first "Cellared in Canada" wine will be available at Vintages in tetra pak, and in the Classics Catalogue in PET bottles.


6) The LCBO's Aeroplan miles have been re-cast as Old Yeller Greyhound klicks.


7) In line with the edict on plastic bags in the City of Toronto, the LCBO will now charge a nickel for its paper bags, which will also have paid-for private advertising on them.


8) The LCBO will be re-branded as LCBGTA, leaving the Windsor area customers to go to Detroit. Said a spokesman for the new LCBGTA, "The Ottawa people can all go to Hull". Based on sales, all of this seems logical. The good people of Ontario living north of Barrie only drink beer, and they can continue to go to The Beer Store.


9) Effective immediately, the "Food" part of "Food & Drink" magazine will be dropped. There will be no more recipes unless they involve alcoholic beverages.


10) "Shelf talkers" will become "shelf mumblers".


11) There will be no more separate Vintages catalogues – all product will be released irregularly on an "as if" basis and will merge with the In-Store Disappearance program.


More on this story as it develops...If anybody has any comments on how to improve the wine economy of Ontario, then send them in and I will pass them on to Miffed Mole...




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