Quebec customers turn to LCBO in Ontario to stock up on alcohol while SAQ’s shelves remain empty.
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The parking lot at the Hawkesbury branch was filled with Quebec-registered cars as TVA Nouvelles passed by on Wednesday.
People came not only from the border region, but also from further afield, such as Repentini or Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
“We go to Quebec regularly, but because the shelves are empty, we come here to stock up,” explained a Quebec customer who came to LCBO to fill up on liquor.
“What we usually buy is gone. Another customer explained, so we come here, it makes us ‘wrinkle’ a little, and it gets us on the road for two hours.
The consumers we interviewed all spent several hundred dollars, sometimes as high as $1,000.
Many claimed that they would return to LCBO, even if they had to go.
With the holiday approaching, people fear they are running out of bottles, especially after the government announced that gatherings of 20 vaccinated people will be allowed.
It is also difficult for private importers
Private importers can still access some of their goods in SAQ even if they have to go to great lengths to get it to their customers.
“Orders are lost, there is no organization. SAQ is currently trying to be everywhere at the same time, but nowhere. The problem is not with the employees’ strike, but nothing has been done to predict the effects,” believes Simon Daust. , sales agent for Roucet Importation Privée.
He continues, explaining that the strike forced him to load up his personal car and make his own deliveries across the county to help his customers and restaurateurs.
It is also impossible for restaurateurs to obtain supplies from SAQ because it is prohibited by law.
The conflict between SAQ and warehouse workers continues despite a return to the negotiating table on Wednesday.
Last Monday, an initial agreement was rejected by 86%. Pressure tactics must continue.
SAQ acknowledged that it will take some time to replenish inventory.
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