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Media Centre Annual Report Today's LCBO
 
Today's LCBO
 

TODAY'S LCBO

BALANCING PROFITABILITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

The following describes the evolution of the LCBO from a staid distributor of beverage alcohol products to an innovative, customer-focused and award-winning retailer.

   
WHY CHANGE?
STRATEGIC PLAN IS KEY TO CONTINUING EVOLUTION
CUSTOMERS SATISFIED, REVENUES UP
LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS PAYS DIVIDENDS
PRICING POLICY
BOLD MODERNIZATION PLAN
RESEARCH LEADS THE WAY
INVESTING IN OUR EMPLOYEES
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY A KEY PART OF OUR MANDATE
HELPING SUPPORT WORTHY CAUSES
SAFEGUARDING THE ENVIRONMENT
ASSURING THE QUALITY, AUTHENTICITY OF PRODUCTS
SUPPORTING ONTARIO'S WINE INDUSTRY, CRAFT BREWERS
ONTARIO CONSUMERS LOVE CANADIAN WINES
SUCCESS BY ANY MEASURE
STRONG RETURN ON CAPITAL INVESTMENT
A MEASURE OF SUCCESS: MORE THAN 200 AWARDS IN 10 YEARS

 

WHY CHANGE?

 

We’ve been asked: Why change? You are a monopoly.

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The LCBO, in fact, has several competitors in the Ontario beverage alcohol marketplace. These include the privately-owned and operated Beer Store network, Ontario retail winery stores, U-Brews and U-Vints and cross-border shopping. LCBO sales represent about one-third of the volume share of Ontario’s beverage alcohol market.

The LCBO also competes for “share of wallet” – money that consumers may decide to spend with other retailers for things like Christmas gifts or pizza and a movie instead of a bottle of wine with dinner.

So it’s important that customers visit our stores because they want to, not because they have to. Unlike other retailers, however, we can’t offer deep price discounts. That would not be socially responsible.

We’ve had to look for other ways to increase customer satisfaction, mainly by upgrading our stores, improving product selection and training staff to offer friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging customer service.

Succeeding in a shared marketplace and providing the best possible customer service have been integral to our vision and strategic plans.

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STRATEGIC PLAN IS KEY TO CONTINUING EVOLUTION
 

LCBO’s future will be guided by its new, long-term strategic plan (2013-14 to 2015-16). This new plan garners input from all levels of the organization as well as customers, external stakeholders and business partners. It draws on a wealth of research on key trends and driving forces shaping the retail and beverage alcohol marketplace in Ontario, Canada and the world. Our ongoing intent is to enhance our customers’ responsible use and enjoyment of beverage alcohol, outperform the sales growth of the Ontario retail sector as a whole and continue to make a positive difference in the communities in which we work and live.

We’re passionate about providing our customers with a vast and appealing product selection from nearly 90 countries and improving their product knowledge via multiple information sources, including our well-informed employees who are pleased to provide assistance.

We’re focused on offering a shopping experience that exceeds expectations in bright, attractive, clean stores that provide a safe, convenient retail environment.

We will continue to extend our gifting opportunities with increased, year-round product selection and a growing availability of LCBO/VINTAGES gift cards online, in our stores and at non-LCBO locations.

Our financial goal is to continue business growth in a dynamic and socially responsible manner. We will outperform other major retailers, maximizing the returns to Ontarians by returning $5.4 billion in net income over the three-year life of the plan (2013-14 to 2015-16), growing net income from $1.71 billion in 2013-14 to $1.88 billion in 2015-16. We will continue to expand the LCBO retail store network across Ontario with new, relocated and renovated stores in each year of the plan, moving from 634 stores at the end of 2012-13 to about 680 locations by the end of 2015-16, increasing access, convenience, product selection and overall customer engagement.

Our support of Ontario vintners, craft brewers and spirits producers is hugely beneficial to all our stakeholders and to our business. By launching a new Ontario wine brand, our wine country Ontario, we are providing a confident, bold endorsement of local wines, food and other produced goods. We are pleased to cite their standards of excellence, increasing popularity and dynamic sales growth.

We will continue to grow Ontario VQA wine sales through a variety of channels. These include integrated marketing, rollout of the new VQA destination boutiques, our continued participation in World Of Wine (WOW) leadership training opportunities for store staff, cooperative merchandising and supporting our Ontario industry partners.

We will apply similar tactics to our successes with Ontario craft beers and the emerging Ontario micro distillers. Our promotional campaigns including “goLOCAL’ for domestic and VQA wines and “Know Your Craft” – Ontario beer and spirits thematic – will continue to emphasize the economic and environmental advantages of supporting local products.

Our employees are fundamental to our success as an organization and our strategies are designed to foster excellence in the employee experience at all levels of the organization. This means offering staff opportunities to learn, grow and achieve their full potential in healthy and safe work environments that promote harmony, inclusion and diversity, while building leadership capacity to ensure a continuous supply of qualified talent.

As we encourage our employees to excel, the LCBO is enhancing our business relationships with stakeholders by implementing new information exchange systems and processes that leverage fresh opportunities. As a progressive retailer, we continuously source new suppliers to increase our product selection and expand our business. From applying new efficiency enhancements in our supply chain to leveraging pride in the growing profile of Ontario’s craft brewers, distillers and wineries, LCBO is maintaining a business-friendly environment that ultimately serves and benefits our stakeholders and customers.

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CUSTOMERS SATISFIED, REVENUES UP
 

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If you examine our customer research and look at our financial performance, you’ll see the LCBO is doing very well on all counts.

Customer feedback continues to be positive. Customers like the changes we have made. Our large-scale customer satisfaction surveys show that 80 per cent of our customers rate their overall shopping experience as an eight or higher on a 10-point scale.

A Customer Tracking Study is conducted annually and based on in-depth interviews with 2,500 people across Ontario who say they are the primary LCBO customer in their households. In 2012-13, 81 per cent said they found it easy to move around LCBO stores; 74per cent said the LCBO offers a wide selection of products; and 74 per cent perceived staff as friendly and outgoing.

Another way of assessing the shopping experience is our Mystery Shopper program, which involves visits to our stores by unidentified shoppers reporting on customer service and the appeal of stores. This program gave stores an average overall score of 95 per cent in 2012. Mystery Shoppers visit larger LCBO stores four times each year, smaller ones once a year.

In 2012-13, we delivered our 19th record dividend – $1.7 billion – to the provincial government. This figure, which does not include taxes, was $70 million (4.3per cent higher) than the previous year. Our net sales were also a record at $4.892 billion, 3.9 per cent higher than the year before.

The provincial, federal and municipal governments also received $2.892 billion in taxes, import duties and payments to municipalities. As of June 2013, these figures were unaudited.

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LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS PAYS DIVIDENDS
 

How did we know what changes would work? Customer research. We learned and we continue to learn more about our customers – who they are and what they want. 

We went beyond standard demographic research into segmentation studies. These studies separated our customers into distinct groups based on shopping behaviour and lifestyle, as opposed to age. This has helped us better understand customer interests and shopping habits and tailor our retail and marketing strategies accordingly.

We've also done large and small telephone and in-store surveys. We have done everything we can to learn more about the products and services the buying public wants. Research also guides the LCBO’s major social responsibility campaigns.

We measured what was important and behaved like a private sector company, observing other retailers and adapting successful ideas without compromising good public policy or social responsibility.

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PRICING POLICY
 

In setting retail prices for the products it sells, the LCBO strives to balance several key elements of its mandate.

  • Promoting social responsibility in the sale and consumption of beverage alcohol

  • Providing excellent customer service, including offering customers a broad product selection and value at all price points

  • Generating maximum profit to fund government programs and priorities.

The LCBO also ensures that it meets the legislated requirements under the Liquor Control Act concerning minimum price and uniform price. (Minimum prices are the lowest prices that products can be sold and uniform price requires the price for a particular product to be the same throughout the province)

To achieve this necessary balance among the key elements of its mandate, and to meet public sector standards of openness, fairness and transparency when it buys products for resale, the LCBO uses a standard mark-up pricing structure. Mark-ups vary by product category (among beer, wine, fortified wine, spirits, liqueurs for example) and there is an additional charge on imports to cover supplementary costs associated with those products, but otherwise the mark-up is consistent for all products. For example, all domestic whiskies are marked up at the same rate and all imported whiskies are marked up at the same rate.

This standard mark-up pricing structure, established by the LCBO in consultation with the Ministry of Finance many years ago, allows suppliers to be confident that the LCBO provides fair and equitable treatment to its business partners.

As a result of the LCBO’s fixed mark-up structure, when LCBO buyers and suppliers discuss possible purchases, they focus on the product’s final retail price. The payment to the supplier for the products follows automatically from the application of the fixed mark-ups and other elements of the pricing structure (for example, freight costs and currency exchange rates if the purchase is in a foreign currency). As part of the agreement to purchase, the supplier must provide the final quote or cost to the LCBO, usually per case.

While the quote is derived from the agreed-upon retail selling price, suppliers occasionally make mistakes in the quote price due to changes in freight or currency rates or as a result of calculation errors. The LCBO’s practice had been to ask suppliers to correct any errors. Beginning in 2012, when suppliers provide a quote that is lower than that required to meet the agreed-upon retail price, the LCBO accepts the lower price. This encourages suppliers to be diligent in providing accurate quotes. If the price quoted is higher than that required to meet the agreed-upon retail price, the supplier is asked to provide a lower quote.

LCBO buyers make every effort to get the best products in each price band, whether for sub-$10 wines, or super-premium spirits. They review more than 50,000 submissions annually and negotiate with suppliers to make the best of these products available at good prices. The LCBO is an attractive customer for manufacturers and there is fierce competition for listings. As a result, suppliers frequently submit products to the LCBO at prices lower than those charged to other jurisdictions.

The LCBO’s social responsibility mandate means that pricing strategies practiced by some private sector retailers or retailers not selling beverage alcohol products are not appropriate to the LCBO. For example, private retailers sometimes choose to offer some products at below cost or at a much reduced mark-up as “loss leaders” to attract customer traffic. This strategy would be inconsistent with the LCBO’s mandate to promote socially responsibility in the sale and consumption of beverage alcohol.

For more detailed information on LCBO pricing, see the LCBO Customer Service portion of the website: http://service.lcbo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/570/kw/pricing

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BOLD MODERNIZATION PLAN
 

In 1998, the LCBO – with the support of its board and government – embarked on a bold modernization plan – to be Ontario's Source for Entertaining Ideas. We listened to our customers and were poised to take action.

We made major changes to the store network by:

•  Bringing stores in off back streets
•  Improving their look inside and out
•  Making the look consistent, including displays and signage
•  Improving accessibility and parking
•  Closing or consolidating stores that no longer met customer needs.

We also looked at value-adds for our customers. In larger, destination stores we offered a full range of products and services including tutored tastings.

In smaller communities that couldn’t support a regular LCBO store, we partnered with existing private sector retailers to open agency stores to fill in service gaps.

Since 1962, privately-owned agency stores had provided beverage alcohol service to smaller Ontario communities, mostly in Northern Ontario. There was an expansion in the 1990s, making beverage alcohol retailing more convenient, cost efficient and socially responsible while serving a broader consumer base. By extending its services, the LCBO brought additional revenue to communities and increased their overall business base by giving rural consumers another reason to shop locally. A further expansion was undertaken in 2002.

The number of agency stores at the end of 2012-13 was 219 representing 2.3 per cent of total LCBO sales.

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RESEARCH LEADS THE WAY
 

How do we continue to leverage our vision to help grow the business and increase our revenues? Customer research, of course.

For example, LCBO sales trends have shown that the interest in mixed drinks and cocktails is growing but our research also shows many consumers mistakenly think making mixed drinks is difficult and time-consuming.

So the LCBO, together with our suppliers, launched annual promotions in our 634 stores across Ontario that include demonstrations and shaker cocktail recipes for hosts.

These promotions show that spirits are fun and ideal for entertaining because of their mixability, diversity and ease of preparation.

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INVESTING IN OUR EMPLOYEES
 

Great stores and selection alone don't win over customers. You need great service too; so we invested in our staff.

We made product knowledge courses mandatory for all retail employees. A program called Service Knowledge better prepares them to answer questions from customers with confidence.

We partnered with the Wine Council of Ontario to educate our employees more about products and developed a program called World of Ontario Wines (WOW), in which more than 300 employees in our biggest stores are designated WOW Leaders to promote the sale of Ontario wine.

Other employees have become “Beer Ambassadors” to promote consumer beer knowledge and interest while a “Spirits Advocate” program does the same for spirits. Ongoing training is provided to update employees’ product knowledge.

We also undertook large-scale employee attitude/engagement surveys and learned our employees must contribute to and understand our vision to embrace it. They must understand our goals and what they can do to help achieve them. They must know our core values – customer service, social responsibility, excellence and integrity – and how they can bring them to life.

This approach defines what customer service means to an organization that subsequently trains and motivates staff to provide that service. There is a one-to-one correlation between employee trust and profitability: The more employees believe management supports quality service, the more profitable that organization will be.

Employees must be engaged which, at the LCBO, means being part of a world-class organization where they can learn, grow and maximize their potential.

This includes leadership development programs and a coaching culture to identify the leaders of tomorrow, ultimately making sure they have the skills and knowledge required to take the LCBO into the future.

It means transferring corporate experience and knowledge to the next generation through mentoring and job-shadowing and making succession planning a top priority throughout the organization.

It also means promoting a harmonious and inclusive work environment and enhancing health and safety to achieve an accident-free workplace.

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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: A KEY PART OF OUR MANDATE
 

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Selling beverage alcohol responsibly is a public trust the LCBO has taken seriously since its creation in 1927. Over the years, LCBO has had a strong and consistent commitment to socially-responsible programs, practices and actions:

  • responsible retailing

  • promoting responsible consumption through education and advertising

  • reducing our environmental footprint by eliminating plastic bags, increasing lightweight packaging and encouraging customers to return containers for a refund

  • making sure products sold by the LCBO meet the highest quality and safety standards

  • fundraising to support charities and community organizations in Ontario.

Today, consumers expect a higher standard of corporate social responsibility and a greater commitment to the environment from the companies they do business with. The LCBO is evolving and continuing to integrate Corporate Social Responsibility (Corporate SR) into all points of contact with our customers beyond what has been achieved in the past. Corporate SR practices are as important as our mandate to provide a high level of customer service and maximize dividends for the provincial government.

Corporate SR at the LCBO includes:

  • Social responsibility advertising campaigns such as Deflate the Elephant, which encourages Ontarians to speak up to help prevent friends, family members and guests from drinking and driving. Visit www.deflatetheelephant.com  for interactive hosting scenarios, the Home Bartending Challenge to master the perfect pour, downloadable tips and tools, as well as a free iPhone “Speak Up!” app and Facebook site.

LCBO has developed major advertising campaigns since 1995, in partnership with MADD Canada and independently, to raise awareness about the responsible use of alcohol and the dangers of impaired driving. These campaigns have included TV, radio, print, cinema, bar, washroom and outdoor advertising across Ontario.

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  • All LCBO retail employees participate in Challenge & Refusal: It’s not Personal. It’s the Law. training program to enable them to challenge and refuse service to anyone who appears underage and cannot provide valid proof of age ID, appears intoxicated or are suspected of buying for either group. They challenged more than 7.8 million individuals in 2012-13 and refused service to more than 322,000 people – 84 per cent because they could not provide valid proof of age ID.

  • To take the social responsibility message into high schools, LCBO develops safe prom and graduation campaigns that include posters, prom tips for students and parents, information resource packages and web-based resources for teens, parents, teachers and counsellors.

  • LCBO’s longstanding partnership with MADD Canada, which includes fundraising in LCBO stores to support the production and delivery of MADD Canada’s School Assembly Program. Other social responsibility joint initiatives include television campaigns and the development of Talk to your kids about alcohol website, aimed at parents of preteens to help prevent underage drinking. The website provides tools and tips to promote dialogue with their children about alcohol, helping them make informed and smart choices.

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  • Helping to protect the environment through the Ontario Deposit Return Program and support of the Blue Box program, working with suppliers to offer more products in lightweight packaging and encouraging customers to use reusable bags. LCBO also recycles cans/bottles/PET containers, defective alcohol, corrugated cardboard, fine paper, newspaper, batteries, printer cartridges, data tapes and other materials, as well as working to reduce the use of energy in stores, warehouses and offices. To learn more about LCBO’s environmental sustainability initiatives, visit http://www.lcbo.com/enviro/

  • In 2012, LCBO customers and employees raised more than $6.6 million for a variety of worthy causes.

    Employees also rallied behind the annual United Way Centraide campaign, raising more than $2.84 million through payroll deductions, special fundraising events and customer donations. These funds support social and health services to deliver community programs and tackle social issues province-wide.

    Thanks to the generosity of LCBO customers, $6.1 million was raised through in-store fundraising for various provincial and numerous local charities through prompted donations and cash boxes at store checkouts. Support was given to organizations such as MADD Canada, Friends of We Care and Camp Oochigeas which helps children with cancer. LCBO employees are also actively involved in many individual fundraising efforts in their communities.

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HELPING SUPPORT WORTHY CAUSES
 

While it may not make cash donations or sponsor events, LCBO and its employees are committed to assisting charitable organizations. Donation boxes are placed at checkouts each month to collect funds for designated charities and customers are sometimes invited to make a donation at the checkout.

In 2013, LCBO is supporting the following charities: click here.

Local charities also benefit twice a year, in January and July, from the in-store donation box program.

These charities include organizations fighting impaired driving – such as MADD Canada and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving – as well as the four Ontario children’s hospitals, the United Way, Canadian Cancer Society and many others.

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OUR ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT
 

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LCBO has a longstanding commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and developing initiatives with industry suppliers. LCBO recently launched its second sustainability report outlining the organization’s environmental strategy, activities and accomplishments. Here are a few examples of how LCBO is helping to lessen its impact on the environment.

The Ontario Deposit Return Program – Bag it Back – was launched in February 2007. Through this program, consumers pay a deposit on LCBO containers and receive a refund when returning containers to The Beer Store. The deposit is 10 cents and 20 cents depending on the size of the container.

The Bag it Back program is helping to divert significantly more glass and other beverage alcohol containers from landfill sites and results in more containers being recycled into higher-end uses, including new glass bottles, fiberglass and polar fleece.

The program has been a great success with a return rate of 80 per cent in 2012-13, amounting to more than 523,000 tonnes of glass, as well as cans, plastic and other containers. It is also freeing up space in the Blue Box program, giving municipal governments an opportunity to expand recycling programs.

• The LCBO has also been a leader in supporting Ontario’s Blue Box recycling program and has contributed more than $50 million in recent years to Ontario’s cities and towns as well as helping develop new markets for coloured glass.

• The LCBO has become a recognized leader in the promotion and sale of lightweight packaging for beverage alcohol, including Tetra Pak cartons, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles, aluminum cans and, increasingly, lightweight glass.

• The LCBO announced in June 2011 the official date for implementation of the 420-gram standard for wines under $15 which will commence in January, 2013.

• In 2008, the LCBO phased out plastic bags in all its stores in an effort to reduce reliance on disposable shopping bags and encourage customers to opt for reusable alternatives. This initiative has eliminated 80 million plastic bags. Customers now have a variety of reusable bags to choose from or they can bring their own. Customers can also opt for free paper bags made up of 40 per cent recycled content and are recyclable through the Ontario Blue Box program.

• Reusable bags are available in LCBO stores and a portion of sales of reusable bags, together with proceeds from other fundraising efforts, go to the LCBO Natural Heritage Fund, which supports community-based projects to preserve or restore wildlife habitat.

• Suppliers are encouraged to minimize packaging while adhering to the LCBO’s Product Packaging Standards.

LCBO's environmental strategy has five specific goals:

• Reducing package waste generated by LCBO sales

• Increasing the rate of material diverted from landfill to recycling and re-use

• Improving all aspects of environmental management

• Reducing consumption of energy and utilities at LCBO facilities

• Promoting re-use and conservation.

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ASSURING THE QUALITY, AUTHENTICITY OF PRODUCTS
 

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Products sold in LCBO stores must first be tasted, tested and certified by LCBO’s Quality Assurance department.

This means products are safe to consume, authentic and meet the standards set out in Canada’s Food and Drugs Act and Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and their related regulations.

Every year, more than 500,000 tests are performed on more than 23,000 products.

The lab is world-renowned and meets the high standards set by the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The LCBO’s Quality Assurance department is registered under ISO 9001:2000 as well as under ISO/IEC 17025, a designation specific to chemistry laboratories.

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SUPPORTING ONTARIO'S WINE INDUSTRY, CRAFT BREWERS
 

As a government agency, LCBO has worked very hard to support our domestic wine industry and craft brewers. We have:

•  Partnered with the Wine Council of Ontario and the provincial government to develop an overall wine strategy.
   

•  Introduced a dedicated team to manage all Ontario Wines (LCBO and VINTAGES combined), including a category manager, product manager and a category administrator.
   
•  Trained more than 300 employees in our stores to act as specialists in Ontario wine – WOW Leaders – who can help customers and colleagues alike learn more about the value and versatility these wines offer.
   
•  Expanded the highly-successful Ontario Wines Superstar program to include VINTAGES Superstar, supporting and showcasing VINTAGES Essentials on a monthly basis to new consumers.
  
•  Ontario craft beer was promoted in a mini-thematic in September 2012 called Ontario Craft Beers – Your Guide to Pairing Pleasing Pints and Choice Cheeses. The program included an informative pamphlet profiling 11 beers, pairing craft beers and cheese and in-store tasting events.
   
•  Two Ontario Craft Brewers’ discovery packs were developed and brought to market in 2012 – summer and holiday.
   
•  The LCBO launched 40 seasonal beers from Ontario craft breweries last year. Seasonal beers are normally available in small quantities for a limited time.
 

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ONTARIO CONSUMERS LOVE CANADIAN WINES
 

LCBO loves Canadian wines, and, so it appears, do its customers. The LCBO’s I Love Canada promotion that ran from mid-June to mid-July boosted sales of Canadian wines 5.4 per cent over the same time last year.

Promotional efforts like I Love Canada and LCBO’s year-round support for Canadian wines are producing results. Ontario VQA table wine sales at LCBO increased 4.7 per cent in 2012-13 over the previous year, outpacing LCBO wine sales as a whole which increased by 4.4 per cent. Sales of BC wines through all LCBO channels exceeded $5.0 million in 2012-13 and are projected to be even higher this year as more BC wines are making their way on to LCBO shelves.

LCBO’s Private Ordering program is making it more convenient and faster for customers to access Canadian wines, spirits and beers from across the country that are not available through its stores or online sales channels. For information on LCBO’s Private Ordering program, click here.

In June 2011, LCBO adopted a policy clarifying that it is legal for individuals to bring wines, spirits and beer into Ontario on their person from other Canadian provinces or territories, as long as it is for personal consumption.

Established under the Liquor Control Act, the policy allows Ontarians of legal drinking age to bring up to three litres of spirits, nine litres of wine and 24.6 litres of beer from other provinces and territories. Most provinces and territories have comparable provisions, though some have importation limits that are lower than Ontario.

The new policy should dispel any confusion that this practice is not allowed.

From September 15 to October 12, 2013 LCBO will be presenting its annual fall Ontario wine promotion featuring a wide range of quality wines in all LCBO stores.

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SUCCESS BY ANY MEASURE
 

The transformation of the LCBO has been a success by any measure.

In 1991, the LCBO’s annual revenue was $1.8 billion and the dividend was $675 million.

In 2012, annual revenue was $4.892 billion and the dividend was $1.7 billion. This did not include $814 million in HST, excise taxes and import duties. When payments to municipalities were included, the total was $2.5 billion. (As of June 2013, these figures were unaudited.)

Our strategic plan for 2013-16 projects $5.4 billion in dividends by the fifth year.

Dividends help pay for health care, education and other important social programs and major capital projects.

The LCBO has also been successful in containing costs, as reflected in expenses-as-a-percentage-of-net-sales.

This figure was 16 per cent in 2012. Each one per cent reduction in operating expenses translates into $45 million in savings.

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STRONG RETURN ON CAPITAL INVESTMENT
 

New and renovated LCBO stores are designed to be bigger, brighter and better located than the stores they replace. This not only increases customer satisfaction in measurable ways but increases sales that ensure a solid return on LCBO’s capital investment.

All real estate decisions are guided by extensive customer research and market analysis to ensure they meet the needs of urban and rural communities of all sizes, and by rigorous financial analysis. 

The business case developed for each capital project includes a forecast of incremental expenses and sales – netting out both current sales growth trends and negative impact on sales at nearby stores in the trade area – to ensure an accurate forecast of the project’s return on investment. All major capital projects must show a projected return on investment of at least eight per cent to proceed.

Following completion, financial performance is reviewed annually and compared to the forecast. Eighty-one of 93 stores tracked during an eight-year period were performing on forecast or better than forecast.

Our integrated marketing initiatives, which include in-store displays, newspaper inserts, broadcast advertising and web-based promotions, have played an important role in building customer traffic, increasing sales of featured products and enhancing the LCBO brand.

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A MEASURE OF SUCCESS: MORE THAN 200 AWARDS IN 10 YEARS
 
Two LCBO Sales & Marketing managers display the awards received from the Canadian Marketing Association.

As a socially-responsible retailer, LCBO can benchmark its success, not only through customer satisfaction surveys and financial results, but also through the recognition it has achieved, often in open, juried competitions. To date, LCBO has won well over 200 awards for store design, staff training and development, innovative retail practices, marketing and communications. These include 13 Retail Council of Canada Excellence in Retailing Awards, including Innovative Retailer of the Year, Socially Responsible Retailer of the Year and the Retail Technology Award.

Drinks Ontario, the association representing imported wine, spirits and beer agents, has recognized several members of LCBO management with its Industry Partnership Award for their efforts in enhancing the profile of imported beverage alcohol products in the Ontario marketplace. Recipients include: *Tom Wilson, Vice President, VINTAGES (2010); *Bob Downey, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing (2009); Dr. George Soleas, Senior Vice President, Logistics/Quality Assurance (2008); Greg Dunlop, Category Manager, European (2007); Shari Mogk-Edwards, then Vice President, Merchandising (2006).

*Denotes employees who have since retired from LCBO

Below is a list of some of LCBO’s more prestigious awards:

2013   LCBO’s Broadcast Production Group received a bronzer Telly Award in the online video/webisode category for its portrayal of Niagara winemaker Norm Hardie. Since there is no gold Telly offered in this category, the group actually scored a second-place standing.
 
2013   LCBO’s Sales & Marketing Division won a design award for an interactive micro-site from Applied Arts, Canada’s visual communications magazine. The site was developed to help men host a successful get-together during a thematic highlighting a premium spirits collection.
 
2012   LCBO’s Sales & Marketing Division received two bronze medals for its 2011 Whisky Rocks campaign from the Canadian Marketing Association.
 
2012   The Retail Council of Canada: 2012 Excellence in Retailing Awards: LCBO Supply Chain won a Technology Award for its deployment of QLogitek’s systems to schedule warehouse appointments and automate purchase orders.
 
2012   The Ontario Hostelry Institute: Media and Publishing category: Jody Dunn, manager/editor of FOOD & DRINK magazine earned a Gold Award.
 
2011   The Canadian Marketing Association presented LCBO’s Sales & Marketing Division with two bronze awards in the Retail Category for the promotions goLOCAL (Ontario wines) and Cocktails.
 
2011   The Telly Awards: “Film and Video” category: LCBO’s Broadcast Production Group earned silver (first place) for its LCBO Safety video and bronze (second place) for Challenge & Refusal: It’s Not Personal, It’s the Law.
 
2011   ContactCentreWorld.com: Best Contact Centre in the Americas under 50 agents: LCBO’s Contact Centre was among the top three finalists in annual global competition.
 
2011   Retail Council of Canada: LCBO tied with Staples Canada in the Retail Store Design, Large Retailer category: LCBO was recognized for its flagship Oakville store’s “thoughtful design with cutting-edge features.”
 
2011   Ontario Safety League: Deflate the Elephant campaign earned a Public Safety Award
 
2010   The Canadian Marketing Association presented LCBO’s Sales & Marketing Division with a bronze award in the Retail Category for its goLOCAL campaign which promoted Ontario wines.
 
2010   The International Council of Shopping Centres: Store areas in excess of 10,001 square feet: Gold Maple Leaf award was presented to LCBO’s Store Development & Real Estate for 321 Cornwall Dr. store in Oakville.
 
2010   Bill Kennedy, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, received MADD Canada's Citizen of Distinction Award in September 2010 for championing LCBO's efforts to promote responsible drinking, help prevent drinking and driving and raise funds for MADD Canada.
 
2010   A bronze Telly Award was presented to LCBO's Broadcast Production Group for TV spots created for an Ontario Wine "goLOCAL" promotion. The international award was in the "Regional TV Commercials - Alcoholic Beverage/Beer" category. The Telly Awards honour the very best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs as well as the finest video and film productions.
 
2009   The Niagara Wine Festival named Bob Downey, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, the RBC Financial Group's Business Citizen of the Year.
 
2009   The International Council of Shopping Centres: Store areas in excess of 10,001 square feet: Silver Maple Leaf award was presented to LCBO’s Store Design and Real Estate for 1838 Avenue Rd. store in Toronto.
 
2009   Canadian Marketing Association: Retailing Category: Gold and Silver Awards for the Red Wine 101 promotion which helped demystify red wine buying for customers.
 
2009   New York Festival’s International Film & Video Awards: Internal communications category: Bronze award for Play it Safe, a training video used to teach store staff how to effectively deal with shop theft; also won a Silver Screen Award in the Training Safety category at the U.S. International Film & Video Festival
 
2009   The Retail Council of Canada’s Excellence in Retailing Awards; Retail Marketing/Advertising – Large Chain category; LCBO’s “Eco Chic” campaign won top prize
 
2009   LCBO Store Design & Real Estate earned a grand prize in the Specialty Food Retail Category from the Association for Retail Environments.
 
2008   The Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario Design@Work Competition: LCBO’s Prom Tips campaign poster, created to remind high school graduates that alcohol doesn’t belong at their celebrations, was declared a winner
 
2008   Strategy Magazine named the LCBO “Integrated Marketer of the Year”
 
2008   LCBO Store Design & Real Estate placed first in the Specialty Food Shop Category, an award presented by the Institute of Store Planners and Visual Merchandising & Store Design Magazine.
 
2008   Canadian Marketing Association: Retailing Category: Bronze award for the Wine 101 promotion which helped demystify wine buying for LCBO customers
 
2007   Strategy Magazine, Top Integrated Marketer: Nancy Cardinal, LCBO Vice President, Marketing and Customer Insights
  
2007   Canadian Information Productivity Awards: Chief Information Officer of the Year: Hugh Kelly, LCBO Senior Vice President, Information Technology
 
2007   Marketing Hall of Legends: Andy Brandt, former LCBO Chair and CEO
 
2007   Retail Advertising and Marketing Club Canada:
     - First Place Retail Flyer Award, East Meets West
     - Second Place Retail Flyer Award, Hot City Cocktails
 
2007   Whisky Magazine: Retailer of the Year (Canada)
 
2007   Retail Council of Canada:
     - Retail Supply Chain Award
     - Excellence in Retailing, for New Item Submission System
 

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