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LRS Retail Licenses Decoupled from Liquor Primary

Effective Dec 2, 2009, licensee retail store (LRS) licenses (the newer private retail store licenses) have been decoupled from the liquor-primary (LP) licenses with which they were formerly required to be associated. See the LCLB LRS Policy Directive for details. From now onwards, the continued operation of the LP license is not required for the LRS license. Other restrictions on the operations of the LRS (including the \”standalone\” building requirement) remain but this change will allow greater freedom for LRS operators to move their operations and/or transfer them to other parties.

Update (Dec 10, 2009): I have now reviewed the regulation that implements these changes. Although the liquor-primary coupling is removed, there is a new requirement that \”in the opinion of the general manager, the licensee retail store does not appear to be associated with another business in the near vicinity\”. From a policy perspective, this seems rather odd … the likely reason for this is to try and stop the transfer of LRS licenses to supermarkets and big box stores so that the Alberta experience is not repeated here. As you may be aware, Superstore, Costco and Safeway all have freestanding liquor stores in Alberta located near or next to their main stores and branded similarly.

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