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Road closings, taxes, the price of gas -none of these gets the locals fired up like the closing of a wine store.

 

In a move that has the denizens of Westmount in a tizzy, the Societe des alcools du Quebec plans to shut two of its liquor outlets in that area next month.

 

The stores, in the Pepsi Forum and Westmount Square, are to be closed at the end of March and all business redirected to the new outlet on Sherbrooke St. between Victoria and Grosvenor Aves., or the outlet at the Atwater Market.

 

"That's just ridiculous," said Marvin Stutman.

 

"I'm pissed off, really pissed off; I don't have a car and those stores are not convenient for me," Gilles Girard said inside the Pepsi Forum this week. "If the SAQ wasn't a monopoly and there was some choice at the grocery store ... but this, sometimes you just can't win."

 

The SAQ has been part of the Pepsi Forum for 10 years, in place five months before the official opening, said Andre Jude, VP of Canadian Forum Investments, who represents the Forum's U.S. owner.

 

"We have not had an official communication from the SAQ of their intention to leave, but we are aware that their current lease is coming to an end," Jude said.

 

The rent on the 7,000-square-foot space is confidential, he said, but specified that it is neither above nor below market value.

 

The Westmount Square outlet, a fixture in the underground shopping plaza for two decades, serves a clientele from the apartment complex above, the Alexis Nihon Plaza tower next door and people who shop on Greene Ave.

 

Sales at both locations have been declining in recent years, underperforming other outlets in the province, an SAQ spokesperson said.

 

"The numbers weren't there. These stores weren't profitable. We never close a branch that is doing well," said Isabelle Merizzi, director of public affairs.

 

A new SAQ outlet excluvely for bar and restaurant owners is set to open on St. Patrick St., which will free up a large portion of the SAQ Selection at Atwater Market for individual customers. Merizzi said the Atwater Market store is growing increasingly popular among Westmount customers.

 

But not everyone is thrilled with the move.

 

"It's sad, so very sad, this is so convenient for everyone," said Westmount Square shopper Rose Rodin.

 

"I'm ticked off like you have no idea. I don't know whose brainy idea it is to close such a full functioning SAQ," fumed Angela Ragusa.

 

Merizzi said the SAQ has not ruled out opening other outlets in the sector, but that they won't be in either Westmount Square or Pepsi Forum.

 

(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)

 

Sucks to be them. Guess the SAQ doesn't want to waste tax payers money to wait and see if all will get better, with people moving into the condo being developed next door.

 

I guess the people complaining are just going to have to cab it or take the metro. I just wonder who will take over the 7000 sq.ft at the Pepsi Forum :confused:

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How do you even walk to the SAQ, they don't even give you a bag anymore you have to walk out carrying five or six bottles in your arms not wanting to break any and then put them in the car and buckle their seatbelts :)

 

Hey isn't that illegal to have booze without a bag?!

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How do you even walk to the SAQ, they don't even give you a bag anymore you have to walk out carrying five or six bottles in your arms not wanting to break any and then put them in the car and buckle their seatbelts :)

 

Hey isn't that illegal to have booze without a bag?!

 

Ils n'ont pas vraiment besoin de donner des sacs alors que tout le monde en a des dizaines réutilisables chez eux à ne plus savoir quoi en faire, dont plusieurs de la SAQ (qui transportent très facilement de multiples bouteilles).

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Ils n'ont pas vraiment besoin de donner des sacs alors que tout le monde en a des dizaines réutilisables chez eux à ne plus savoir quoi en faire, dont plusieurs de la SAQ (qui transportent très facilement de multiples bouteilles).

 

Oui ils ont besoins, je mets pas de sacs dans mes poches juste comme ça.

 

Toute l'affaire des sacs en plastique c'est de la bullshit. Y a des sacs qui sont biodégradables en 2 ans sans nuire à l'environnement...

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au moins a la saq il ne te font pas le coup de te faire payer avant, pis te dire apres qu'ils n'ont pas de sacs (meme si tu as 10 items) et qu'un sac coute 15 cents et que tu n'a clairement aucun change parce que tu as paye interac!!1. .:banghead: . .. j'imagine que je pourrais me promener avec un de mes 12 sac de la saq dans mon portefeuille pour pallier a ces imprevus ! .. :silly:

 

cyrus: i know what you mean about carrying booze around without a bag but i think this got changed a few years ago or maybe it's just not enforced anymore?

 

it used to be some depanneurs wouldn't even let you leave with a 6 pack without putting it in a plastic bag first ! now, you can pretty much walk out with anything without a bag. i've even noticed that more and more people in recent years are having beers, or dinner with some wine in city parks during the summer months - although i'm pretty sure that's not actually legal, just tolerated...

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It is a little ridiculous that an SAQ was located in both the Pepsi forum and Westmount Square. They're like a block away. Open a stand alone location on Greene Avenue and I'd imagine it would do fine.

 

No no, it is ridiculous that the SAQ is the only legal place to buy spirits! Admittedly, at least we can point and laugh, at Ontario :)

 

I mean all this other bitching is just on the side, the actual cause of the problem is just the monopoly. I could even accept an Alberta or BC style "competition in retail, monopoly distribution" where the customers get screwed on price but at least have a wide choice...

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