Frequently Asked Questions – General Program Information
LCBO Agency Stores provide beverage alcohol service in rural communities where residents do not have reasonable access to an LCBO store. Agency Stores are not located in urban areas such as Toronto or in communities where an LCBO Store or Beer Store is present.
The LCBO uses a competitive process to select a host business in the community. The host business is authorized by the LCBO to sell beverage alcohol in conjunction with other retail goods sold in the store (such as grocery stores, general/ convenience stores, etc.). Beverage alcohol is not the focus of an Agency Store but adjunct to the host business.
The LCBO, in consultation with the Government of Ontario, selects communities for agency store service (not individual businesses). When selecting communities, several weighted factors are typically considered including the proximity to other beverage alcohol services. The current distance criterion is 10 km from an LCBO Store or outlet of The Beer Store. When the LCBO expanded the program in the past, locations were chosen from a pool of communities that had made requests for an LCBO Store or for Agency Store service.
Once the community has been identified, the LCBO uses a competitive process to select the most suitable host business to authorize as an Agency Store. (see business selection process below).
The LCBO uses a competitive process (request for proposals) to ensure Agency Store Authorizations are awarded in a fair and equitable manner. Generally, when an Authorization expires or is terminated, the LCBO will notify the public of the Agency Store opportunity by placing an advertisement in the local newspaper inviting area retail businesses to apply. The LCBO also contacts those on file that have expressed an interest in the competitive process for any given community. The business must then obtain an application package according to the instructions outlined in the advertisement by a specified deadline. A Request for Proposal (RFP) package is sent to applicants outlining the requirements for the proposals. Proposals are submitted by a specified deadline. Late submissions are not accepted. Retail businesses must be established and in operation at the time of submitting a proposal.
After the RFP closing date, applications received are reviewed and evaluated in accordance with the criteria outlined in the RFP document. A list of criteria are also detailed in the LCBO Agency Store Program - General Information Package. As part of the evaluation process, the LCBO will conduct an on site video survey to verify information contained in the application and will also conduct criminal background checks.
The evaluation process is a point system and the application receiving the highest overall score is recommended to the LCBO Board of Directors to receive the Authorization.
The LCBO is not currently expanding its Agency Store network. Agency Store Authorizations are generally issued for a period of 5 years. If the LCBO wishes to continue the operation of the Agency Store Program in the community at the end of term, the LCBO will issue a new RFP for that community to the public. The LCBO takes into consideration changes in the retail marketplace during the course of the Authorization.
Issuing a new RFP ensures that all retail businesses in the area have an equal opportunity to compete to host an LCBO Agency Store.
In some cases, the LCBO may elect to award a further Authorization to an existing Operator if such existing Operator has performed in a socially responsible manner, has met LCBO requirements during the term of its Authorization and it is the sole retail business in the area eligible to host an LCBO Agency Store. The LCBO may also elect to discontinue the Agency Store Program in the community altogether or open an LCBO store at the end of term.
For a list of Ontario communities where LCBO Agency Stores are currently located click here. If you operate an existing retail business in one of these communities and would like to be contacted by the LCBO in the event that a competition will be held for your community, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
LCBO Agency Store Program - General Information Package is available online.
Further inquiries can be directed to the Agency Store Department via e-mail: email@example.com or by calling 416-365-5941 ext. 5550.
The LCBO is not currently expanding Agency Store Service. However, if you'd like your community considered for service in the future, please submit a written letter of interest to the LCBO Agency Store Department outlining the community you are proposing, the type of business you operate and other pertinent information, such as the population size, distance to the closest LCBO/Beer Store outlets, tourism, etc.
Your letter of interest can be directed:
Via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Agency Stores – Dept. 876
55 Lake Shore Blvd. E
The LCBO maintains all requests for Agency Store service on file. Should the LCBO expand its Agency Store network and should your community be selected, the LCBO will notify you directly of its community selection and provide further information about the LCBO's competitive process.
No. Agency Stores are intended to be convenience locations, listing the LCBO's more popular brands. Given that agency stores have a limited product selection, not all marketing programs are available. Therefore, "Food & Drink" magazine is only available at LCBO corporate locations.
Customers wishing to have "Food & Drink" magazine mailed to their home as a convenience can do so by contacting via e-mail: email@example.com or by regular mail:
LCBO Marketing and Customer Insights, Dept.903
Attn: FOOD & DRINK Subscriptions
55 Lake Shore Blvd. East
Toronto, ON, M5E 1A4