SAQ price mark-ups
Lots of Quebecers complain about the prices at the SAQ especially at this time of year when they are stocking up for the holidays and some number crunching shows the liquor board is charging customers nearly triple its wholesale cost for wine.
The Journal de Montreal reports that a bottle of tipple supplied by a winemaker at about $5.50 including transportation ends up on an SAQ shelf priced at just over $16. Of the difference, the biggest chunk - at 45-percent - is the cut the liquor board takes to cover its overhead and pay its employees. The rest is various federal and provincial taxes.
In addition, the SAQ has a price rounding policy, so prices are rounded up to the nearest nickel. That policy generates nearly five-million dollars a year in revenue.