February 26, 2016 2:34 pm
Updated: February 26, 2016 2:44 pm

Home delivery of beer and wine from LCBO online store coming within months, budget says

The LCBO online store is to launch mid-year, but the retailer expects most of the orders to be picked up in-store.

Doug Ives / File / The Canadian Press

Coming soon to your doorstep — beer, wine and other booze from the LCBO.

The new Ontario budget has revealed the LCBO’s online store is set to launch mid-2016.

The site is still very much a work in progress, the retailer said.

“It’s still in the development-testing stage,” said LCBO spokeswoman Christine Bujold.

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The store — or “e-commerce platform” in budget-speak — was first announced last year during the major shake-up of alcohol retailing in the province, but didn’t feature an opening date.

READ MORE: Beer to be sold in up to 450 grocery stores across Ontario

According to an LCBO FAQ for suppliers, the LCBO expects some 40,000 orders within a year of the online store’s launch.

But the LCBO is expecting the to-your-doorstep delivery to be less of a hit than the in-store pickup option, with 80 per cent of orders estimated to go to existing brick-and-mortar locations.

They’ve even got a guess as to how many bottles or cans the average shopper will drop in their digital cart — 10.

The home-delivery experience will be familiar to those used to shopping in LCBO outlets — except it will be the mailperson doing the age-check.

The FAQ notes shipping will be handled by Canada Post, who will check the ID of those answering the door and “will not deliver to a suspected intoxicated person.”

Though barely a few decades away from an era when you had to fill out a form to buy a six-pack, the LCBO says it has done its homework on cyber-retailers — and has clicked through online mega-stores Amazon, Ebay and Etsy to figure out best-practices.

The full spectrum of alcohol currently sold by the government retailer – including spirits – is being considered for online sales.

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