Liquor Sales in Ontario: Is Your Store Ready?

In response to Ontario’s recent announcement about expanding the sale of alcoholic beverages starting this summer(source), Auto-Star’s software solutions are more relevant than ever. With a strong focus on the unique needs of Canadian retailers, Auto-Star’s Star-Plus POS system is equipped with advanced features designed for liquor sales in Ontario for Convenience, Grocery and Big Box stores. Let’s delve into the standout features that make Auto-Star the ideal partner for your business.


Age Verification with Driver’s License Scanning

Ensuring compliance with legal age restrictions is a critical aspect of selling age-sensitive products like alcohol. The legal drinking age in a liquor licenced establishment in Ontario is 19. Serving people under 19 years of age is an offense under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA); and upon a conviction can lead to a monetary penalty (up to $20,000) or suspension/ revocation of the liquor license.(source). Auto-Star’s software helps to ensure compliance by prompting cashiers to verify the customer’s age. With Star-Plus retailers can take this even further with integrated driver’s license scanning. This feature automatically verifies the age of customers, reducing the risk of human error and ensuring your business stays compliant with regulations. The system scans the driver’s licence, instantly verifies the age, and approves or denies the sale based on the data, making the process seamless and efficient.


Sales Time Restrictions for Liquor Sales in Ontario

The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) has been working diligently with the AGCO, LCBO, Ministry of Finance to prepare their members of the rules and requirements around liquor sales in Ontario. As many Convenience stores are open late they remind merchants that alcoholic beverages can only be sold from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Ontario (source). The Star-Plus POS software further aides in compliance with further aid in compliance with sales time restrictions for regulated products. This feature prevents the sale of alcohol and other restricted items outside of legal selling hours. By automating this process, retailers can avoid costly fines and ensure that their operations adhere to provincial laws without manual intervention.


Custom Shelf Labels and Signage

Effective merchandising is key to attracting customers and boosting sales. Auto-Star offers a customizable shelf labeling system that goes beyond the basics. Retailers can create labels that include critical information such as country of origin, sweetness ratings, alcohol by volume (ABV), and more. These detailed labels help customers make informed purchasing decisions, enhancing their shopping experience and potentially increasing sales.


Advanced Inventory Management

Efficient inventory management is the backbone of any successful retail operation. Auto-Star’s software excels with robust features that streamline the entire process, from ordering to sales.

One of the standout features is the suggested ordering system. This tool analyzes sales data and inventory levels to recommend optimal order quantities, ensuring that popular items are always in stock while minimizing overstock of slower-moving products. This feature not only saves time but also helps reduce costs associated with excess inventory and stock outs.

Managing inventory effectively requires a clear understanding of product quantities at different levels. Auto-Star’s software supports case and unit parent-child relationships, simplifying inventory and product management. This feature allows retailers to track both cases and individual units, providing a comprehensive view of stock levels and facilitating more accurate ordering and sales reporting.


Canadian Made – Comprehensive POS Capabilities

Auto-Star’s Star-Plus POS system is specifically designed to meet the needs of Canadian grocery and convenience stores. With a range of features tailored to this market, helping retailers streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

The Star-Plus POS system offers a wide range of features that cater to the unique requirements of grocery and convenience stores. These include:

  • Integrated Payment Processing: Seamlessly process all types of payments, including debit, credit, and mobile payments, ensuring fast and secure transactions.
  • Advanced Reporting: Gain insights into sales trends, inventory levels, and customer behavior with comprehensive reporting tools that help you make data-driven decisions.
  • Scale Management: Integrate with you retail and deli scales for accurate sale tracking and simplified product and price management.
  • Multi-Location Management: Easily manage multiple store locations from a single platform, ensuring consistency and efficiency across your entire operation.
  • Promotions and Discounts: Implement and track various promotions and discounts to drive sales and attract more customers.

As a Canadian company, Auto-Star offers local support in Ontario, ensuring that retailers receive prompt and effective assistance. This local presence means that help is always close at hand, allowing businesses to quickly resolve any issues and maintain smooth operations.


Are You Ready for Liquor Sales in Ontario?

Auto-Star’s comprehensive software solutions offer a range of features that enhance operational efficiency and improve customer satisfaction for grocery and convenience stores. Our features are designed to help retailers adapt to this new landscape efficiently.

After September 5, 2024, all eligible convenience stores will be able to sell beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages.

After October 31, 2024, all eligible grocery and big-box stores will be able to sell beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink beverages, including in large pack sizes.

The integration of age verification, sales time restrictions, and detailed product information ensures that retailers can comply with new regulations and meet customer demand effectively. The OCSA highlights additional considerations for your Ontario Convenience, Grocery or Big Box store including:

  • 20% in EVERY category must be produced in Ontario (beer, wine, cider, rtd)
  • Less than 50% of the store square footage can be alcohol.
  • Must have alcohol responsibility training
  • Staff must be 19 or older to touch, stack, move or sell alcohol.
  • No sampling
  • You must sell in the packaging that you ordered (meaning you can’t break open a 24 pack and sell the individual units).
  • Can’t use loyalty programs as payment or partial payment of alcohol
  • No free or discounted merchandise to entice people to buy
  • all alcohol must be displayed together and not throughout the store

(source)

From advanced age verification and sales time restrictions to customizable shelf labels and robust inventory management, Auto-Star’s software is designed to meet the unique needs of Canadian retailers. With local Ontario support and a deep understanding of the market, Auto-Star is your ideal partner for success.

Embrace the future of retail with Auto-Star and experience the benefits of a system designed with your business in mind. Visit www.auto-star.com to learn more about how our solutions can transform your operations and help you achieve your business goals.

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