A BC Liquor Store. (Wikimedia Commons)

BC Liquor Stores closing on Sundays, seeing skyrocketing sales amid COVID-19

Stores are taking extra hygiene measures to reduce transmission

Provincial liquor stores in B.C. will be closing on Sundays due to staffing and sanitizing challenges brought about by COVID-19.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch spokesperson Viviana Zanocco said the change will help the organization deal with a “finite number of employees and keep up with hygiene requirements.”

The stores already switched to shortened hours last week, Zanocco noted, with Monday to Saturday hours now from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Sunday closures will begin this week on March 29.

The enhanced hygiene measures include asking customers to bag their own alcohol, if they are using reusable bags, and installing plexiglass shields for their cashiers.

“It’s just one extra measures of protection for employees and customers,” Zanocco said of the new checkout procedures. Other measures include signs warning people to physically distance and floor markers, to show people where to stand, for checkouts.

Although the branch has seen a drop in hospitality sector sales, as it’s not supplying many shut-down bars and restaurants, Zanocco said business is booming.

“Our sales are up 40 per cent this month,” she said, noting it’s an “unprecedented” increase.

The biggest spikes are for large-volume items: cask wine is up 144 per cent, spirits in 1.75-litre or larger bottles are up 153 per cent and 24-packs of beer are up 120 per cent.

Zanocco said although store hours and days may be limited throughout the COVID-19 crisis, not to fear that stores will close fully: BC Liquor Stores have been deemed an essential service by the province.

“Supply is very, very steady,” she said.

READ MORE: BC Liquor Stores to remain open, for now, despite COVID-19

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Abbotsford Agrifair’s 2020 event still in the works

Fair will respect COVID-19 health directives, but continuing plans in hope ban will be lifted

Learning after spring break: more details from Abbotsford School District’s superintendent

Parents to receive call from teachers next week, asked to conduct survey to tailor learning needs

Abbotsford’s Mandarin Garden Buffet offering free food to those in need

Chinese food restaurant providing free fried rice or chow mein to those struggling during pandemic

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

Most Read