Montreal, April 16, 2020 – Aware of the pandemic’s impact on Quebecers, customers and partners, the SAQ is adopting a series of measures to aid the collective effort and assist those in need.
Donations and sponsorships maintained
The SAQ is maintaining its donations and sponsorship program and will continue honouring its commitments to the some 300 community organizations, foundations and festivals it supports in every region of Quebec, even if the associated events have to be cancelled due to the current situation. By doing so, the SAQ hopes to continue supporting sectors severely affected by the crisis and ensure the ongoing viability of the cultural offering in Quebec.
Inventory of 94% ABV neutral spirit made available to health care establishments
To help alleviate the current shortage of disinfectant products, the SAQ has frozen its inventory of 94% ABV neutral spirit products and made it available to Quebec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The SAQ had already donated some 1,500 bottles of 94% ABV neutral spirit to a dozen hospital centres in Quebec.
In addition to its $1 million emergency donation to the Food Banks of Quebec network on March 18, the SAQ continues to encourage initiatives for assisting Quebecers who find themselves in a precarious situation. For example, the company has donated another $50,000 to La Tablée des Chefs, which has launched Les cuisines solidaires, a program aimed at creating an emergency stockpile of around 1.6 million meals to be stored by Food Banks of Quebec and distributed to people in need of prepared meals instead of foodstuffs.
Price increases postponed
In view of the economic pressure placed on many households, the SAQ has agreed with its suppliers to postpone the retail price increases on wines and spirits normally planned for May. While price cuts are allowed on a continual basis, the SAQ limits price increases to two predetermined periods a year, in May and November. The effective date for the new prices will be based on how the ongoing crisis evolves.
Support for restaurateurs
The restaurant industry is particularly hard hit by the pandemic and the SAQ is keen to provide support to its partners. Among other things, the company has implemented a new procedure to facilitate product returns and made the payment conditions for permit holders more flexible. In addition, the SAQ is leveraging its various platforms to promote the take-out and delivery services offered by some establishments.
Home delivery service
Since April 6, customers who are voluntarily self-isolating or want to limit their outings can once again have their SAQ orders delivered directly to their home instead of a postal outlet. The home delivery service for online purchases has been reinstated and is now provided by Purolator. The $12 delivery fee remains in effect and continues to be donated to Food Banks of Quebec.
Executive salaries frozen
The SAQ has decided to freeze the salaries of its executives for fiscal 2020-2021. It is also postponing this year’s payment of performance-based variable pay to non-unionized employees, which is part of their overall compensation package, until September 2020, which is around the end the second quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In the extremely difficult economic and health situation faced by many Quebecers, the SAQ hopes its initiatives and decision to maintain operations will enable it to continue sharing with those in need.