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No ID, no entry: LCBO launching controlled entrances pilot at 6 stores



Select LCBO stores will soon require certain customers to present photo identification to security before entering as part of a pilot program that aims to combat retail theft.

In a media release Tuesday, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) announced that it will introduce controlled entrances at six stores in the province’s northern region.

“Providing an exceptional customer and employee experiences is a top priority, so our goal is to make this new process quick and easy,” John Summers, the LCBO’s chief retail officer, said in a statement.

“While it may add a few extra minutes to our customers’ visit, we trust that this is a small inconvenience for a safer and more enjoyable shopping experience.”

According to the LCBO, the controlled entrance will have an exterior door, a vestibule and an interior door. Customers who appear 17 years or older will have to present their ID to security personnel at the vestibule, and if they meet all criteria, the interior door will be opened, and they can start shopping.

The LCBO says the photo ID will be scanned to ensure it is legitimate and valid and that the customer is at least 19 years old and does not have a prior incident record at the store.

Anyone who does not meet the requirements will be prohibited from entering, the LCBO said, adding that during the pilot, only one customer can enter the store at a time.

“Unfortunately, sometimes theft incidents involve minors. It is also our responsibility to ensure that minors under 19 years of age do not have access to alcohol in our stores,” the Crown Corporation said on why controlled entrances are being installed.

Which LCBO stores are part of this pilot?

Four of the six stores selected for the pilot will be in Thunder Bay, while the other two will be in Kenora and Sioux Lookout.

“These stores were selected because their contained geography allows us to measure the effectiveness of the controlled entrances without the transference of theft to other stores,” said the LCBO, which plans to start the 12-month pilot in the spring.

“We will communicate with customers closer to the implementation, but we may not share scheduled rollout dates as it could exacerbate the situation and compromise our safety and security efforts.”

The LCBO said no decision has been made at this time for whether the pilot will become permanent and expand to other stores.

The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) implemented a similar policy in 2020, and according to its website, since the installation of controlled entrances, robberies have been “virtually eliminated,” and thefts have plummeted from hundreds each week to a handful.

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