Save-on-Foods looks to obtain right to sell B.C. wine in Kamloops

By Chad Klassen
May 16, 2016 - 5:41pm Updated: May 17, 2016 - 1:02am

KAMLOOPS — Representatives from Save-On-Foods will be at City Hall on Tuesday, trying to persuade Council to allow the Kamloops store in Sahali to sell certified B.C. wines. 

Save-On-Foods, which obtained a liquor license from Discover Wines last year, has submitted an application to reduce the one kilometer minimum distance required between retail liquor stores. It would allow the grocery store chain to sell B.C. wines in Sahali.

The application has the Sahali Liquor Store concerned about what it could mean for local retailers.

"In other jurisdictions where wine is sold at the grocery-store level, 80% of the wine consumed is from the grocery store," says owner of the Sahali Liquor Store Al Deacon. "So when you lose that kind of segment of your portfolio, jobs are lost. Mainly we're concerned about the students. We pride ourselves, being close to TRU, on employing a lot of part-time students."

Both the Fox and Hounds Pub and Sahali Liquor Store will be closed tomorrow until the council meeting concludes. A bus full of employees, some of whom would be impacted, will be taken down to city hall to show their opposition against the application.

Last August, City Council voted 5-3 in favour of banning stores from selling alcohol within one kilometer of an existing store, reversing a previous decision made a month earlier. Mayor Milobar did not vote since he owns Stag Head's Liquor Store in Aberdeen. 

On Tuesday, neither Milobar nor Councillor Arjun Singh will be casting a vote. Singh has a familial relationship to Deacon.

INTERACTIVE: Liquor Stores within 1km of Save-On-Foods

The Overwaitea Food Group is a division of the Jim Pattison Group, who also owns CFJC Today.

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