SAQ shops could open in grocery stores

The liquor board wants to launch a pilot project to sell wine and spirits in grocery stores

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Quebecers may be able to buy spirits at some grocery stores next year.

By 2015, the SAQ wants to launch a pilot project that would see the opening of two to six of its Express stores in grocery stores owned by Metro, Loblaws and Sobeys.

Spokesperson Renaud Dugas says the SAQ reached out to the chains a few months ago and negotiations are in the works.

“The idea is to maintain the wine from the grocery stores and to add the wines and the spirits from the SAQ, inside an SAQ shop, with the service and everything from the SAQ.”

Dugas says many details must be confirmed.  He could not say whether the SAQ would pay rent or how much interest was expressed by the companies.

He says the idea was born after the SAQ opened a temporary store in a Quebec City Loblaws, while its SAQ store was under construction.

“We noticed that our customers appreciated having everything under one roof and the experience led us to the pilot project, of a shop in a shop so we approached the stores.”

A spokesperson at Sobeys told CJAD it did receive the request from the SAQ but it was too early to comment.

Loblaws and Metro have not given CJAD a response.

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