01/30/2015 05:20 EST | Updated 04/01/2015 05:59 EDT

B.C. liquor reforms: new markup for pricey wines reduced after vendor outcry

The B.C. government has decided to drop part of the wholesale markup planned for higher-priced wines under new liquor reforms announced last fall, following an outcry from retail vendors.

Under the sweeping reforms, a base markup of 89 per cent would have been applied to the first $11.75 per litre of wine, and a second tier markup of 67 per cent would have been applied to the remainder, beginning in April this year.

"Since we released our wholesale pricing model in November, we’ve heard concerns from industry about the pricing structure for wines over $20 a bottle," said Justice Minister Suzanne Anton.

"In listening to this feedback, we concluded that adjustments needed to be made, so we have amended the wholesale markup for this category to better align wholesale prices with what industry sees today."

Under the revised pricing announced Friday by Anton, the second tier markup will be reduced to 27 per cent, in order to keep the new prices in line with existing prices.

The markups are applied by the Liquor Distribution Branch and passed onto the retailers when they purchase their products.

Revenue from liquor sales in B.C. contributes more than $1.2 billion per year towards the province’s health and social programs, noted Anton.