Alcohol | Finance & Taxation | Food & Grocery

Alcohol in Ontario: Choice & Convenience means GDP Growth

April 30, 2019

This report highlights how the Ontario Government’s move to increase choice & convenience for alcohol will also increase overall retail sales and benefit the economy.

$3.5 B
potential increase in GDP
potential new jobs

Increased choice = Increased GDP

With only 2.4 outlets per 10,000 persons, Ontario ranks last in the country in terms of alcohol availability – well below the national average of 5.9. Moving to the national average of licensed retail outlets would increase the number of locations by 4,028, resulting in a potential increase to Ontario’s GDP of $3.5 billion a year.

# of outlets with alcohol available per 10,000 people
National Average

Increased choice = Increased jobs

In addition to a significant increase to Ontario’s GDP, this report calls into question two facts widely circulated by The Beer Store; (1) that there will be job loss from increasing choice and convenience, and (2) that beer will increase in price.

The Retail Council of Canada finds that neither of those claims by The Beer Store hold merit. The Beer Store has stated that opening the market would mean job loss of 7,000 full and part-time staff currently employed at The Beer Store. Allowing other market participants would add competition to The Beer Store, but is very unlikely to cause the company to shutter its doors. A move to Canada’s average per capita store count would see a net increase of 13,134 jobs - an increase in jobs overall.

The price without tax of popular beers were an average of 8.3% more expensive in Ontario relative to Quebec. This suggests that increased choice and convenience can also mean savings for consumers, as large grocers negotiate with suppliers to compete for business.

Beer Price Comparison - North America

wdt_ID Region Beer Price % Compared to Ontario
1 Saskatchewan 55.10 21.80
2 Newfoundland 53.74 18.80
3 Alberta 47.71 5.50
4 Nova Scotia 46.46 2.70
5 Ontario 45.23 0.00
6 Prince Edward Island 44.32 -2.00
7 Alaska 41.82 -7.50
8 Manitoba 40.74 -9.90
9 British Columbia 37.49 -17.10
10 New Brunswick 36.99 -18.20
Region Beer Price % Compared to Ontario