LCBO says it will no longer ID shoppers at the door at select locations


Published February 14, 2024 at 2:11 pm

lcbo workers worried about closures ontario
The LCBO has cancelled a controversial pilot program - Photo courtesy of the LCBO

The LCBO says the province has directed it to cancel a pilot program that would have involved asking customers for ID before entering the store.

The project, which was slated to be rolled out at six LCBO locations in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and Kenora, was designed to deter theft. 

“Following direction from the Ontario Government, LCBO will not be moving forward with our controlled entrances pilot,” the LCBO said in a statement.

“We remain committed to working collaboratively on additional measures to reduce shop theft and violent incidents in our stores and to ensuring safe experiences for our customers and employees.”

In a statement released on Feb. 14, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said the program was reevaluated after residents raised concerns.

“Over the past 24 hours, I have heard serious concerns about the LCBO’s newly announced pilot program. I’ve directed the LCBO to cancel it immediately. Where there are safety concerns, LCBO will continue to work with its community partners to explore alternatives to ensure the safety of its customers and employees.” 

On Feb. 13, the LCBO said the program, which involved asking customers who appeared 17 years of age or older for government-issued ID before entering the store, was conceived in response to an uptick in violent shoplifting incidents. 

Citing data from the Retail Council of Canada (RTC) that indicates that thefts involving violence have increased 300 per cent over the past four years, the brand said it planned on launching the program in the spring.  

As part of the now-scrapped controlled entrances pilot, the IDs would have been scanned to ensure they’re valid, that the customer is of legal age if an adult does not accompany them, and that they have not been involved in prior incidents at LCBO locations. 

People whose IDs are flagged would not have been allowed to enter. 

Some Ontarians took to social media the day the pilot was announced to express concerns that the program would unfairly target more vulnerable residents. 

“The f**? Refusing entry without ID to a liquor store. You know who often don’t have IDs? People already vulnerable,” one person wrote on X. 

“Piloting in Thunder Bay, Sioux, Kenora – predominantly Indigenous communities that have been overrepresented in systemic harms [and] policing.” 

Others said there must be other ways.

“ID at entry was a silly idea,” another poster wrote on X. 

“Look to Sweden where grocers have exit gates that require one to scan their receipt in order to leave.” 

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising