LCBO customers spent a record $51-million this Dec. 23, surpassing last year's record of $48-million.
"Dec. 23 traditionally is a busy day for us," said Chris Layton, a spokesman for the LCBO, who said the day's sales are earmarked for comparisons year to year. "I think this year, certainly, a lot of people might have gotten off work a little bit earlier to start the Christmas weekend, so there was a lot of last-minute shopping."
Dec. 23 fell on a Friday and some stores were open as late as 11 p.m., which may account for the huge jump in sales, said Mr. Layton. The date with the all-time highest sales on record was June 23, 2009 – with $55-million worth of product sold. Mr. Layton said that had been under "exceptional circumstances": The LCBO had been approaching a strike negotiations deadline, so customers had been eager to stock up in case stores closed.
Last year, the LCBO generated about $4.3-billion in sales throughout the year, with $600-million of that amount coming from sales in December alone.
Mr. Layton said around Christmas-time, bestsellers include sparkling wines, champagnes, single-malt scotches, cognacs and liqueurs. In fact, 25 to 30 per cent of all sales of these items happens in November and December.
The next big day for the LCBO will be New Year's Eve. On Dec. 31, 2010, the LCBO posted sales of about $31-million.
"We will imagine that it will be busy again this year, because that's probably the biggest day of the year for celebrations and parties and get-togethers," said Mr. Layton.