Sales at BC Liquor Store were up 40 per cent for the month of March. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

B.C. liquor, cannabis sales up in March, now levelled off to seasonal norms

Sale figures are not released, but percentages show huge percentage increases

When the province declared a state of emergency to support the COVID-19 response in mid-March, BC Liquor Stores (BCLS) saw an ‘uncharacteristic’ increase in customer volume.

“The trend was similar to the increased activity experienced by grocery stores,” a Ministry of Attorney General spokesperson told the Tribune.

Sales figures for BC Liquor Stores (BCLS) or BC Cannabis Stores (BBCS) are not released as those statistics are considered confidential business information, however the ministry provided an outline of sales across the province.

Over the last two weeks of March cask wine sales increased by 144 per cent, sales of spirits sold in 1.75 litre containers increased by 153 per cent, sales of beer sold in 24 packs increased by 120 per cent and counter sales at BCLS were up 40 per cent for the month of March.

Since the end of March, sales have levelled off to seasonal norms.

READ MORE: B.C. premier hosts free virtual concert to bring people together amid COVID-19

Over the same period, BC Cannabis Stores have also experienced an increase in sales across both its network of retail stores and on its ecommerce channel.

“As we continue to support customers in safely accessing non-medical cannabis products, BC Cannabis Stores has implemented a number of changes to its services during the COVID-19 pandemic in line with orders and advice from Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer,” the spokesperson noted.

One such change is the addition of an in-store call and collect service, which enables customers to call ahead to reserve product, and pick it up in-store, limiting the length of time required to be in the store.

On Wednesday, the provincial government extended retail liquor service in B.C. in a move to “provide greater opportunities for physical distancing for seniors and people who are immuno-compromised.

“Liquor retailers, such as wine stores or private liquor stores, throughout the province are now allowed to temporarily operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily, if they choose to do so,” the Ministry of Attorney General said in a news statement.

The new policies are effective immediately and will remain in effect until July 15, 2020. These changes do not override any additional requirements or limitations placed on businesses regarding hours of liquor service by local governments or First Nations.

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. allows private liquor stores to open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Poppy donation boxes have been delivered to restaurants, cafes, stores and places of businesses in Prince Rupert by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 127 for the 2020 National Poppy Campaign. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
National poppy campaign restricted by COVID-19

Prince Rupert Royal Canadian legion expects less donations to offer vital assistance to local vets

Elena Tran 9, grade five student at Conrad Elementary School learns about Truth and Reconciliation on Oct. 21 with the story of Chanie Wenjack who died at the side of rail lines while fleeing a residential school in 1967. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Conrad Elementary students learn of ‘reconciliACTION’ during Secret Path Week

Secret Path Week from Oct. 17 to 22 commemorates the passing of Chani Wenjack and Gord Downie

More than $10,000 in donations and toys was presented to the Salvation Army by the Prince Rupert Harley riders on Oct. 20, from the 39th annual Toy Ride held on Sept 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Harley Riders rode to victory with $10,000 donation to Salvation Army

The 39th annual Prince Rupert Harley Riders gifted more than 280 toys from the annual Toy Ride

The Prince Rupert Port Authority Land Use Plan will guide the growth within lands and waters under its jurisdiction and facilitate Canada’s trade with the world for the next 20 years. (Photo: Supplied by Port of Prince Rupert)
Land Use Plan finalized by Port Authority

PRPA Land Use Plan plan guides the growth and trade for next 20 years within its lands and waters

Such sweetness with all this candy. Dylan Kennedy 7, with his mom Kerri Kennedy volunteer at the Halloween Fest Committee event to bag candy for students in SD 52 on Oct. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
How sweet it is

Bags of candy were assembled by more than 25 Halloween Fest Volunteers for distribution to S.D. 52

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Most Read