At the 2021 Trade Day, we gave our Trade partners advance notice of our plans to review how we deliver Vintages releases to LCBO customers. Vintages continues to be an important LCBO product category with significant growth opportunity; our objective is to build on the Vintages brand and grow sales, while delivering on our strategic initiatives of excellence in operational efficiency and customer experience.
Some of the key changes include:
· Reduced number of in-store Vintages releases and increased exclusive online-only offerings:
o Between May and August 2022, one of the two bi-weekly releases will be available exclusively online (instead of in store). During these months, there will be a total of four retail releases and five online-only releases.
o In all other months of 2022, the second in-store release of each month will be accompanied by an exclusive online-only release, providing customers with an expanded Vintages selection.
o In December 2022, there will be an additional Vintages retail release to provide a robust assortment during our busiest season.
o We will be issuing an updated PO Cut schedule to reflect changes to release cadence
Supported by our new and improved lcbo.com, Ontarians will be able to shop unique and premium products anywhere, any time.
· Expanding the Vintages Essentials program: We will continue to grow the Essentials presence in store and online. Starting in April 2022, several high-volume release products will be added to the always-available Vintages Essential program.
· Optimized Vintages releases across our store network: Based on demand for Vintages releases across our store network, select stores whose sales are largely driven by Vintages Essentials will have the opportunity to expand their Vintages Essentials assortment and will be phased out of the Vintages release (VCA) program. This will occur in a number of phases, starting in November 2021. With all Vintages releases accessible online, this will allow these stores to better meet their customers’ needs, while optimizing space and driving sales. Merchandising guidelines and customer communication will be in place to support impacted locations as they begin to transition off the VCA program this fall.
The transformation will be supported by customer communications starting in September, encouraging customers to shop in store and online for Vintages.
A refreshed Vintages brand strategy will be rolled out early next fiscal year. This work will inform how we talk about Vintages across customer touchpoints and its role within the broader LCBO brand. You can expect to hear more in the new year.
Transforming the Vintages business is an important step to ensure that we remain relevant and are better prepared to serve our customers in the future.
For the updated 2022 Vintages Retail and Online Release cadence please download this document: