Checking in on Wine Price Gouging at the British Columbia LDB

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I thought the time was right to check in on the ever-increasing prices of wine in British Columbia. This is a small update to my article from August, 2015 to see where we are at:

Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino 2011

March, 2015: $34.99

April, 2015: unknown

July, 2015: $33.99 + 15% tax = $39.09

May, 2017 (for 2014 vintage): $41.99 + 15% tax = $48.29

Price Increase from March, 2015: 38% price increase

Quinta do Vale Meao Meandro 2012

March, 2015: $29.99

April, 2015: $27.79 + 15% tax = $31.96

July, 2015: $27.79 + 15% tax = $31.96

May, 2017 (2013 vintage): $30.99 + 15% tax = $35.64

Price Increase from March, 2015: 18.8% price increase 

Jonata Todos Syrah Blend 2011

March, 2015: $69.99

April, 2015: $60.89 + 15% tax = $70.02

July, 2015: $61.89 + 15% tax = $71.17

May, 2017 (2012 vintage): $93.99 + 15% tax = $108.09

Price Increase from March, 2015: 54.4% (part of this is exchange rate, but not all)

These are shocking results for a liquor policy reform about which the government once claimed:

“IT IS OUR EXPECTATION THAT, STARTING APRIL 2015, THESE CHANGES WILL CREATE A MORE COMPETITIVE MARKET FOR RETAILERS. THE CHANGES WE’RE MAKING TO THE WHOLESALE PRICE TODAY WILL ENABLE MORE COMPETITION BETWEEN RETAILERS TO ATTRACT BRITISH COLUMBIANS INTO THEIR STORES AND SHOULD NOT FORCE ANY CHANGE IN SHELF PRICES.

That statement has proven to be outright false and utterly disingenuous. Consumers have been gouged and made poorer in a province where cost of living is now at crisis levels. This is not an acceptable result, and almost no other jurisdiction in the world would accept it. Whoever wins the election, if they do not fix this issue they are contributing to unfair price gouging of consumer pocket books.

For the reasons why the policy reforms resulted in these prices increases, see my previous analyses:

An Analysis of British Columbias New Liquor Policy.

Further Analysis of the BC Liquor Pricing.

Comments

  1. Chris Woodburn
    May 1, 2017

    It’s nice to finally see more and more of this coming to light. The consumer in this Province has been screwed for years and never has it become more obvious than under our current government.

  2. Claudius
    May 2, 2017

    Good work. Are you following The Freetrade Monk on Instagram? You can see some examples of gouging going on across Canada. On both domestic wines and imports. Follow and spread the word! Twitter name is @freetrade_can
    Let’s see about getting this mess fixed and deal with more important things

  3. Shea
    May 3, 2017

    I agree that is important. However the only way to factor that in with precision is to know the exchange rate st the time the importer paid for the product, which is often 1 year prior to it hitting shelves. Without that it’s just guess work. What we can say with certainty is that exchange rate changes were nowhere near the percent changes in price we see in the examples.

  4. Shea
    May 3, 2017

    In fact a quick search reminds me the euro was around 1.5 at the end of 2014. It dropped to around 1.3 by mid 2015 and is now back up again. So the prices paid for the European products that were in the shelves in march and April 2015 were actually higher on the basis of exchange rates assuming the supplier price remained the same, another piece of non public info.

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