Alberta, Canada, Convenience Stores Might Soon Sell Liquor

The initiative follows Ontario’s 2023 decision to sell liquor at grocery and convenience stores.

April 16, 2024

Alberta is considering expanding liquor sales into grocery and convenience stores in the Canadian province, reported Global News.

Following Ontario’s December 2023 decision to change its retail model to allow liquor sales (beer, wine, cider and ready-to-drink cocktails will be allowed in convenience stores and all grocery stores by 2026), the minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction formed an MLA committee to investigate the possibility of expanding liquor sales into grocery and convenience stores in Alberta.

No final decisions have been made, but “The MLAs have completed their meetings and a summary of those conversations is currently being drafted for the minister to consider,” said a spokesperson for the minister of Service Alberta.

Alberta’s liquor industry is currently a fully privatized business, with approximately 2,400 retailers in operation. Many are small business owners who worry that the expansion might put strain on their businesses.

One liquor store owner said he believes the move to offer the products in grocery and convenience stores is "completely unnecessary."

“Ever since it was privatized back in the '90s I feel like liquor stores have done a great job,” said Abhi Toor with Payless Liquor Store in Calgary.

In 2021, 7-Eleven began serving alcohol in some locations in Alberta, including stores in Edmonton and Calgary. Alberta, Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis previously said it was because the stores had adapted their businesses to include restaurants.