By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - For the Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2021.
A year after London Drugs first offered up shelf space to local product producers and small businesses who had to close their doors due to COVID-19, the Local Central program is now expanding to support restaurants in Alberta impacted by pandemic-related restrictions.
Any restaurants with specialty items suitable for retail sales – such as sauces, jams, rubs, apparel and more – are encouraged to submit them for immediate consideration to be stocked and sold on London Drugs shelves.
“So far we’ve had a pretty good response which we’re quite pleased with,” London Drugs Lethbridge Store Manager Chris Mabie.
London Drugs launched their Local Central program last April, offering shelf space to small businesses impacted by the pandemic to sell their products in stores. Since its launch, the program has supported multiple local businesses helping them earn income at a time, when they might otherwise have had no revenue due to pandemic-related business closures.
“The last year has pushed local businesses – including London Drugs- to become incredibly nimble. One of the most public ways this has played out has been in the quick response of local restaurants and businesses to sudden closures and evolving distancing measures. With the Local Central program already in place, we are in a unique position to offer support quickly,” London Drugs president and COO Clint Mahlman said in a press release.
“We have a company called Baking Barn that’s on our shelves and has been for quite some time now. Another one that had been on our shelves did really well but was able to come off of our shelves, because they were able to get their products into hands of consumers in a different way that was working quite well for them,” says Mabie.
London Drugs has 81 physical stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. With the Local Central program offered in every store, they are committed to help as many small and locally owned businesses as they can fit on their shelves.
Restaurant owners can submit products for review through an online application form at https://www.londondrugs.com/local-central-application.html