Amid the rush of the holiday shopping season, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries continued its rollout of controlled entrances at its Winnipeg retail outlets Monday.
The second Liquor Mart in the city with new security measures opened Monday morning at Portage Avenue and Burnell Street; the Crown corporation has announced all city locations will have the controlled entrances.
All customers are required to present valid photo identification to a security guard stationed behind a transaction window before being granted access to the store.
The Tyndall Market store at Keewatin Street and Burrows Avenue was the first to open with the security measures on Nov. 27.
The secure entrance at Portage and Burnell differs slightly from the one at Tyndall Market, which had two enclosed security booths added to the entrance.
At Portage and Burnell, the transaction window is built directly into the glass wall of the entrance vestibule and security is inside the store at a station with closed-circuit monitors and a computer screen open to the sales floor.
MLL did not make anyone available for an interview and said in an email that any information the Crown corporation can share is available on its website.
"We are not sharing any other information regarding the controlled entrance rollout timeline or any of our security processes and procedures that are followed by our employees. The controlled entrances are in place for the safety and security of our staff and customers," the spokesperson said.
Eldon Heinrichs, who typically shops for spirits at the Portage and Burnell location, said the new security process didn’t affect his experience in the store Monday afternoon.
"I’m all for it. I’ve been shopping here quite a bit, and I have seen quite a bit of people walking out with stuff. It’s always a bit of a concern, and a concern for the people who work here," Heinrichs said.
"They warned us that it was coming weeks before, so I had my ID ready when I came out here," he added. "I’ve no issues with that. In fact, I’m glad for the people who work here and for the security people. It’s just a much better experience for everybody."
When the Free Press dropped by the Portage and Burnell location over the noon hour, a lineup of customers hoping to pick up some last-minute gifts during one of the busiest shopping weeks of the year spilled out the entrance door.
Liquor Mart staff were advising customers to have identification ready and two special-duty Winnipeg Police officers were stationed within the vestibule.
What ID can be used? What if I don't have approved ID? What about young children? Review questions and answers about the new controlled entrances at Manitoba Liquor Marts.
What ID do I need?
The same forms of ID that are already accepted for proof of age are accepted for entry at the security station. These include a driver's licence, Manitoba identification card, secure certificate of Indian status, or a passport.
Alternatively, two forms of government-issued identification may be shown, one of which must be photo ID. Examples include a certificate of Indian status or Canadian citizenship, permanent resident card, firearms licence, Canadian Forces identification card (National Defence), or Nexus card.
What if I don't have approved ID?
Without a valid ID, you will not be allowed to enter a Liquor Mart with a controlled entrance. MLL suggests you could apply for a Manitoba identification card.
What about young children?
Only people legally able to consume alcohol are allowed in stores with controlled entrances. No children of any age are permitted.
Source: Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries
A few customers were turned away at the entrance when they couldn't produce identification. All shoppers, regardless of age, must provide ID. Minors are no longer permitted inside, even if they are accompanied by a guardian.
"Our customers can find information on MBLL.ca/StopTheft about what they need to know in order to enter a Liquor Mart with a controlled entrance — this includes photo ID requirements, our no-minors policy, and answers to other common questions," the spokesperson said.
As of Sept. 30, the company’s retail "shrinkage" rate for theft was 0.70 per cent. That figure is significantly higher than rates of previous years, the MLL said.
"It would be premature to release a dollar figure to the cost of theft before the end of our fiscal year," the spokesperson said. "It is an industry best practice to compare shrink rates rather than the dollar cost of theft to the organization."
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.