Editor & Associate Publisher, Convenience Store News Canada + OCTANE
Aisle 24 is making good on its plan to expand in Western Canada, with the recent opening of two stores in Alberta.
The Edmonton-based stores are in the Icon Tower (located at 10142 104th St.) and Illuminada (11937 Jasper Ave.).
Founded in 2015, the cashierless, 24/7 convenience and grocery chain plans to open about 50 stores in Western Canada in the next five years. That includes at least 35 stores in B.C., with focus on a Vancouver, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond, and about 15 in Alberta, concentraing on Calgary and Edmonton.
There are now more than 20 stores in Canada, concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, with, according to the Aisle 24 website, nine more in the works.
Aisle 24 operates two formats: the community format (typically 1,200 to 1,500 sq. ft.) that’s open to the public and the resident format (300 to 700 sq. ft.) in a condo or apartment building that's accessible by residents.
Aisle 24 is also looking to the East Coast, with plans to open in Halifax and to take the cashierless concept to remote areas of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Last fall, Aisle 24 told CSNC it was partnering with a new franchisee in Newfoundland and Labrador on a hybrid concept store in Goose Bay, which would be staffed during high-traffic daytime hours, then available only to Aisle members in the late evenings and early mornings, when it is unstaffed. The concept gives operators flexibility to offer 24 hour service, without working 24-hour days.