Superstore goes live with wine sales in Langley starting Saturday. MLA Mary Polak was on hand Friday

UPDATED: Langley Superstore adds wine to grocery store shelves

Loblaw is the latest to add wine to its Langley store.

Langley wine lovers have another place to get their B.C.’s finest vino as of this weekend.

The Real Canadian Superstore in Langley is selling wine as of Friday.

The Langley location on Willowbrook Drive, is the fourth of six Loblaw locations in the province to be selected to carry B.C. wines, and Langley MLA Mary Polak was onsite Friday morning to officially announced the change.

“British Columbians were very clear in their support for wine and grocery, and our government is proud to be moving forward with this program here in Langley and throughout the province,” Polak said.

“This initiative improves consumer choice and convenience and opens up a new market opportunity for B.C. wineries.”

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The store, under the direction of manager Joe Viana, has been in renovation mode for a number of weeks, reconfiguring many of the aisles and the overall floor plan to provide space for the wine section in the middle of the store.

“The teams started [remodelling] on Feb 26,” Viana told the Langley Advance.

“A lot of people have people working hard after hours while the store is closed, we had a team of over 25 store colleagues helping with all the moves to help make this happen,” Viana said. “We have all been working long and odd hours to bring this all together, if it wasn’t for the team beside we would be here.”

Noting that about 10 per cent of the store space has been reconfigured to accommodate the new wine section, which will carry 400 varieties of B.C. wine, he elaborated.

While the section has been opened up, and was packed with customers Friday night, the manager said some finishing work throughout the store will still have to be wrapped up during the next week, including enlarging the natural food section “which is another area we feel is a growing category for our demographic,” he said.

The location will also have a wine expert in the store during peak business hours to support customers looking for recommendations and food pairing inspiration.

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Asked what’s his favourite part of the new section is, Viana replied: “The wine cooler, I think we are offering  great option here for anyone that is heading to an event and may need to bring something.”

With the introduction of licences by the B.C. government and through the support of local municipalities, today Loblaw can provide more convenience and choice with B.C. wine on our shelves, said Loblaw senior vice-president Greg Ramier.

“Our customers come to our stores for a one-stop shopping experience for all of their entertaining and meal preparation needs,” he added.

This addition, however, does mean staff at the checkouts will now have to be checking ID, a new and different component to the jobs.

“This has been in the building stages for quite a while and finally its here,” interjected Viana.

“We have seen astronomical growth in Langley during the last five years. We are always looking for opportunities to cater to our customer demographic, as well as improve our store offerings. I believe this is one more great addition to our one-stop shop philosophy. Our customers are extremely happy that it is here now, as one customer said yesterday at the grand opening ‘it was one less stop to try and get the two kids in and out of the car.’ She could get everything she needed in one shop.”

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