New liquor agency store to showcase P.E.I. booze

Teresa Wright
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The P.E.I. Liquor Commission plans to open a new liquor agency store in Charlottetown to sell only locally-made alcohol products.

The P.E.I. Liquor Commission wants to open a new liquor agency store on the Charlottetown waterfront that will showcase only products made in Prince Edward Island.

The commission wants to take advantage of the tourist traffic in this area, especially with the increase in cruise ship visitation to the Charlottetown marina.

“There’s a major opportunity with such an influx of visitation based on the cruise ships down at the waterfront area,” said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson in an interview with The Guardian Tuesday.

“Many cruise ship passengers like to sample local products and have an opportunity to buy local crafts. In this particular case, we are going to have an agency store model that only sells Island products.”

Henderson said the celebration zone for the 2014 festivities on the waterfront is also expected see an increased tourism presence in the area.

But the main driver for the new store is the recent boom in cruise ship traffic, which this year is expected to bring more than 100,000 visitors to the city.

“For our wineries, our breweries and our distilleries on the Island, this is another opportunity to allow them greater access to this market,” Henderson said.

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC) has issued a request for proposals for the agency store, which will see a private operator selling P.E.I. alcohol products under provincial regulations.

The RFP stipulates the new store must be located south of Water Street – an area that currently contains a boardwalk around the marina and a number of restaurants and boutique stores.

Applicants must meet strict guidelines of accessibility, and issues such as interior and exterior appearance, hours of operation and financial performance will be key factors in determining the successful applicant.

Retail and warehouse space will also be a key consideration.

The successful operator will receive a 15 per cent commission rate on all purchases up to $250,000, excluding HST and bottle deposits, and another six per cent on purchases over $250,000.

The contract will be awarded for a five-year term, with a provision for renewal for a further five years.

Henderson said this is one of several initiatives he has been championing to help promote the sale of more P.E.I.-made wine, beer and spirits.

“Everything is to try to grow this industry and give it some strength and stability,” he said.

“We know we have some decent products there and this is hopefully another way to promote those products, sustain jobs and create employment across the province.”

Proposals are being accepted until March 28. The new agency store will be open from May 1st to Oct. 31.

Organizations: P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, PEILCC

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Water Street

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Recent comments

  • don
    March 19, 2014 - 14:22

    Garth Staples it is simple more "PROFIT" thats all the booze and the lcc is a joke the same as irac. anything that has ghiz and wes hooked to it is just a bank to help the friends of ghiz.

  • Heather Scott
    March 19, 2014 - 12:52

    I worked at the liquor store downtown for years, and the cruise ships are a big reason there still is the store on Queen St. Passengers are allowed to bring a bottle of wine/person, but that does not necessarily mean that they want Island wine. I feel sorry for the individual taking on this venture. It will not be successful if the retailer is limited to only Island products. This is a small niche market and not what the average person on a cruise is interested in. The commission should be relocating the Queen St store to the water front year round or privatizing.

    • Garth Staples
      March 19, 2014 - 13:29

      Privatize the whole lot. Why in heck is the Govt in the retail business.

  • Boston Mike
    March 19, 2014 - 11:37

    All island lobster fishermen should get a 40 %tax rebate for liquor purchased during the lobster season . Its about time that lobstermen get the respect that we deserve .

  • frank
    March 19, 2014 - 08:12

    Another great in-depth piece of journalism - "PEI booze". The picture displays everything but local product ! No surprise. Let's see which "supporter" gets the nod.

  • don
    March 18, 2014 - 22:50

    wes you really are hurting for money. does the family need it that bad? next islanders we will be buying booze in food stores, and schools wes needs the cash so bad he is ill to give more access to drunken murders. wait and see wes will sell booze in high schools. wait and see remember profit and tax's comes before a life and that can be proven very easily. look at the fines and jail terms serve time on weekends fines so low you can buy a case of booze hit the MURDERS hard start at $2,000,00 and 6 months in ail for the 1st time drunk driver then double it each time there after then maybe we can cut down on legally drunken murders backs by the government. ask yourselves this what is a life worth in profit and tax's?

  • intobed
    March 18, 2014 - 21:23

    Cruise ships do not allow alcohol to be brought on board by passengers. It must be purchased on ship only. Most cruise ships leave by 5 or 6 pm. I can't see a cruise ship passenger buying alcohol on the waterfront - where would they drink it? You are not allowed to drink alcohol in public places. All of this is just an excuse for the government to give one of their supporters a waterfront liquor store.

    • Exactly
      March 19, 2014 - 08:15

      You nailed it. This is all total BS from the get go. Will government now decide to let people drink in all public places so tourists off cruise ships can buy booze at a waterfront liquor store? As for P.E.I.-made wine, beer and spirits, that is a fairly limited market in general.

  • Cruiser
    March 18, 2014 - 20:54

    Is this a joke? Cruisers can't take liquor aboard their ship.This is just another way Robert can give to his friends. Next we will see privatization of LCC just like Alberta. No lower prices but minimum wage for us workers. Where is our Union.

    • As it should be.
      March 19, 2014 - 06:44

      Stocking shelves and scanning bottles at the cash register are minimum wage jobs. The LCC absolutely should be privatized on PEI. Why is it every time there is a booze related story the crazies come out screaming about murderers and it's the end of PEI and the drunks are taking over. People looking in from the outside really mush think Islanders are a bunch of turnip truck yokels.