News release

Private Wine and Specialty Store Program to Continue

Privately owned wine and specialty stores will continue for a second five-year term with changes to allow them to compete more freely in the marketplace.

"We have listened to the operators of the private wine stores and will be putting in place measures that they have requested," said Len Goucher, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

The changes include:

  • the ability to source products directly from suppliers
  • the adoption of a flat-fee markup system for wholesale purchases
  • improved inventory management processes
  • continued work towards implementation of a third-party regional imported product distribution center, which should allow easier access to imported product once operational

"Once these measures are in place and working as intended, we will re-assess the program near the end of the second five-year term," said Mr. Goucher. "Until that time, we do not believe it is prudent to expand the program beyond its current components, or to change the provisions around single-owner, small business operation of these stores as outlined in the original call for proposals."

The changes occur after an analysis of the program conducted by Gardner-Pinfold Consulting. The report estimated that 34 direct and 18 indirect jobs were created as a result of the program, and that it added household income of $1.4 million to the economy.

The report concluded that while the program has met its original objectives of improving service and selection to consumers, and providing an opportunity for small business, it also confirmed that a number of operational issues were impacting upon the success of the Private Wine and Specialty Store operators, and recommended that they work with the NSLC to resolve these issues.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, the fifth largest retailer of beverage alcohol in Canada and the largest corporate retail business in Nova Scotia, generates more than a half a billion dollars of revenue a year returning more than $188 million profit annually to the province. It employs more than 1,500 Nova Scotians, offering 3,000 products from around the globe through 108 retail, 2,100 licensees and 55 agency stores.

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Privately owned wine and specialty stores will continue for a second five-year term with changes to allow them to compete more freely in the marketplace.

Len Goucher, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, says government has listened to the operators of the private wine stores and will be putting in place measures that they have requested.

The changes include the ability to source products directly from suppliers and improved inventory management processes.

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Media Contact:

Michele McKinnon
Communications Nova Scotia Cell: 902-471-8673 E-mail: