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Controlled Entrances

 Controlled Entrances Initiative

Over the past few years, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries saw a dramatic increase in brazen thefts and robberies in our Winnipeg Liquor Marts.

In response to this situation, we installed controlled entrances at all 36 Winnipeg Liquor Marts by December 16, 2020. Since these controlled entrances were installed, we have seen much success with this initiative and a significant reduction in thefts and robberies at Winnipeg Liquor Marts.

As a retailer that prides itself on customer service and offering a modern, shopping experience, we know these measures are inconvenient, however, providing a safe environment for our employees and customers comes first. We look forward to welcoming you at your local Liquor Mart where, once inside, you can expect the same great customer service you have always known.

At those stores with a controlled entrance, the inner doors to the Liquor Mart are locked. Before being allowed entry, customers must provide valid photo identification to the security guard on duty. The ID is scanned, and information is retained for 21 days. Please be aware that minors of any age are not permitted in a Liquor Mart with a controlled entrance.

 

Liquor Marts have a longstanding reputation for offering a great shopping experience with excellent customer service. This begins with customers and employees feeling safe. In past few years, we heard from customers and employees who told us this was no longer the case. Since controlled entrances were installed, we have reclaimed that safety.
Since the installation of controlled entrances at Winnipeg Liquor Marts, thefts have decreased from hundreds weekly down to fewer than a dozen while robberies have almost been eliminated. We have also had a positive response from both employees and customers who have indicated they feel safe working and shopping in a Liquor Mart again.
We completed our rollout of the controlled entrance initiative to all 36 Winnipeg Liquor Marts in December 2020. In 2021, we then installed them in the communities of Brandon (four Liquor Marts), Portage la Prairie (two Liquor Marts), in Selkirk (one Liquor Mart), The Pas (one Liquor Mart), and Flin Flon (one Liquor Mart).
There has been no indication that the thefts and robberies we were seeing in our Liquor Marts is migrating to the parking lots, however it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Here are some ways to stay safe in public, no matter where you are:

• Remember that your safety is more important than anything you’re carrying.
• Park and walk in well-lit, busy areas.
• Stay off your phone while walking. Keep your attention on your surroundings.
• If you get approached outside or see someone suspicious, go to the nearest open business.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has not increased its markups (our portion of the retail price that generates revenues) in response to thefts or the cost of installing controlled entrances. Any price increases customers may see are a result of regular price changes implemented by the liquor suppliers.

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We urge everyone to wear a mask while visiting our stores. Mask use and physical distancing are strongly recommended and appreciated, but masks are not required.  When you enter the store, you will be asked to briefly remove your face mask so we can make sure you match your photo ID, and that you are over the age of 18. Hand sanitizer is available in the vestibule for you to use before and after you remove your mask.
 

Did you know?

Asking customers to identify themselves as they enter our stores has proven to be an effective deterrent to the thefts and robberies we've experienced over the past few years. Since we’ve implemented ID at the controlled entrances, we have gone from hundreds of thefts and robberies weekly down to fewer than a dozen. We have also had a positive response from both employees and customers who have indicated they feel safe working and shopping in a Liquor Mart again.
 

Face Mask FAQs

We urge everyone to wear a mask while visiting our stores. Mask use and physical distancing are strongly recommended and appreciated, but masks are no longer required.

When you enter the store, you will be asked to briefly remove your mask to confirm your identity and ensure that you are over the age of 18. Hand sanitizer is available in the vestibule for you to use before and after you remove your mask.

You will be asked to briefly remove or lower your mask so that we can confirm your identification and that you are over 18 years old. If you refuse to remove or lower your mask, you will not be allowed to enter the Liquor Mart.

Hand sanitizer is available in the Liquor Mart vestibule for you to use before and after you touch your mask. You can adjust, lower or remove your mask without compromising its integrity by using the ear loops or ties. Try to avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth when removing or lowering your face mask.

If you are asked to remove your mask at the point of sale for age verification, ask the Liquor Mart representative for some hand sanitizer before and after you touch your mask. If you decline to remove your mask, service will be refused.

Did you know?

This Liquor Mart policy of not covering your face while in our stores has been in place for many years. It has always applied to anything covering your face like Halloween masks, balaclavas, large scarves, hoods, motorcycle helmets, and religious face coverings, and now it also applies to personal protective equipment like face masks.

By briefly lowering or removing your mask, you help us make sure the person trying to enter our store matches the identification they have presented, reducing the risk that a thief could use stolen identification to enter a Liquor Mart to commit a crime.

Liquor Marts are not alone in asking for face coverings to be briefly lowered or removed for the purpose of identification. Retail operations, such as cannabis stores, as well as the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (pre-boarding), also require the brief removal of masks for this same reason.

Manitoba Public Health has indicated that people can temporarily remove their mask while in an indoor public place to establish their identity.

Non-medical and medical-grade disposable face masks are acceptable, as are reusable face masks. An effective reusable face mask must cover your nose, mouth and chin.

It’s also important to remember that wearing a mask does not replace physical distancing and hand hygiene requirements. Please maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet from others in the store whenever possible. Hand sanitizer is also available at all Liquor Marts for your use.

Hand sanitizer is available in the Liquor Mart vestibule for you to use before and after you touch your mask.

You can adjust, lower or remove your mask without compromising its integrity by using the ear loops or ties. Try to avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth when removing or lowering your face mask.

If you are asked to lower or remove your mask at the point of sale for age verification, ask the Liquor Mart representative for some hand sanitizer before and after you touch your mask.

The guards working at Liquor Marts with controlled entrances are cleaning and disinfecting their gloves, equipment and pass-through slot before serving the next customer:
  • the guard's gloves are cleaned and disinfected after handling each customer's ID;
  • the metal pass-through slot is cleaned with a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant after each customer;
  • ID scanning equipment is wiped down after each use with a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant;
  • the glass security partition is cleaned regularly; more often if customers have sneezed, coughed, etc. within the space.

Public health guidelines recommend non-medical face coverings where proper physical distancing cannot be maintained. For this reason, we have implemented staggered customer entry to ensure that proper social distancing requirements are maintained within the vestibule.

If you are concerned that proper protocols are not being followed at the controlled entrance, please speak with the store manager.

You may also want to consider giving our home delivery or click & collect services in Winnipeg a try. Place and pay for orders online and have it delivered right to your door. Delivery service is available in Winnipeg and Brandon only. If possible, you may prefer to enlist a friend or family member to pick it up for you.

Photo ID FAQs

Once a location has a controlled entrance, all customers must show valid photo identification at the entrance. The ID will be scanned before the customer is allowed into the store.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is committed to providing our employees and customers a safe working and shopping experience. Asking for photo ID is a deterrent to would-be thieves who do not want their identity known. It also helps for investigation or enforcement purposes in the event of an incident.
When we scan your ID, we are making sure your photo ID is legitimate (not fake), valid (not expired), and that you are 18 or older.
When we scan your ID, we are collecting three pieces of information: your photo, your name and your birthdate. A photo of the identification provided is not taken, nor are we capturing any additional information beyond what is noted above.
Your scanned photo ID is not released to any third-party except for law enforcement purposes if necessary. Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries does not track visits, purchases, or use the information collected for marketing or promotional purposes. Unless required by law enforcement, information collected is never shared with a third-party.
The information collected is held for no more than 21 days and then deleted unless there is an incident and/or it is required for enforcement purposes (e.g., exclusion from the premises or law enforcement).
Section 36 (1)(c) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) allows Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries to collect information for purposes such as exclusion from the premises to protect staff or property, crime prevention, and law enforcement.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has continued to ensure full compliance with all privacy related legislation and has worked closely with the Manitoba Ombudsman’s office since the outset of the controlled entrance program. This has included the submission and review of a Privacy Impact Assessment.

Once scanned, information is immediately uploaded to our vendor’s (Patronscan) server located in Calgary, Alberta.  The information is encrypted and access to it is restricted. Unless required by law enforcement, information collected is never shared with a third-party and Liquor Mart staff do not have access to this information.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries’ Corporate Security department manages access to the data stored with Patronscan. When an incident occurs at a Liquor Mart, information can only be retrieved by designated members of the Corporate Security team.
This adjustment brings our data retention policy in line with most other Canadian jurisdictions and better aligns internal policies and practices. More importantly, this change will allow us to further reduce the instances of theft and disturbances in Liquor Marts and offer a safe retail environment for our employees and customers.
Individuals may be flagged for a number of behaviours including violence, assault, destruction of property, fraud, theft, robbery or in instances of lost or stolen ID. Flags only become visible if/when an individual’s ID is scanned at a controlled entrance. Flags remain in place for a pre-determined period of time, depending on the severity of the incident.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries takes the protection of privacy very seriously and manages, stores and protects your scanned photo ID according to the Manitoba Ombudsman’s guidelines on privacy and surveillance. All information collected is encrypted and access to it is restricted. Unless required by law enforcement, information collected is never shared with a third-party.
The same forms of ID that are already accepted for proof of age are accepted for entry at the security station. These include:
  • Driver’s Licence issued in Manitoba or another jurisdiction
  • Enhanced Driver’s Licence issued in Manitoba or another jurisdiction
  • Manitoba Identification Card
  • Manitoba Enhanced Identification Card
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status
  • Passport

Alternatively, two forms of government-issued identification may be shown, one of which must be photo ID. Examples include:

  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Canadian Firearms Licence
  • Canadian Forces Identification Card (National Defence)
  • Nexus Card
Unfortunately, without valid ID you won’t be able to enter any Liquor Mart that has a controlled entrance. We understand that some people don’t have ID and are not used to needing it to buy liquor. For those customers, the most convenient form of valid ID to obtain is likely a Manitoba Identification Card. This is not a driver’s licence. Visit MPI’s information page on identification cards.

If you still have questions or concerns about what forms of identification are accepted at controlled entrances, please send us a message.

No minors are permitted in Liquor Marts that have controlled entrances. This includes small children, even if they are with their parent or guardian.
Only people who are legally able to consume our products will be allowed in a store with a controlled entrance. 

It is impossible for security guards to quickly and easily determine or make decisions regarding what is an appropriate age for minors to enter, and we are unable to ID minors to prove their age. For this reason, we have decided to remove access for all minors.

We know that this means you will have to plan your shopping trip to a Liquor Mart differently than you are used to. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we continue to improve safety at our stores. 

If you still have questions or concerns about minors being restricted from entering our Liquor Marts, please send us a message.

Customers will begin to see the security station under construction one to two weeks before the new entrance rules take effect. We recommend you start carrying your photo ID with you if you don’t already.
For more information on our privacy policy and who you can contact regarding your personal information, please visit our Privacy Policy page on this site.

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