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11/08/2022

Fire & Flower, Circle K announce additional co-located cannabis-convenience stores

"Couche-Tard continues to see promise in the cannabis market and is committed to learning more about the space as it evolves both in Canada and beyond."
Michelle Warren
Editor & Associate Publisher, Convenience Store News Canada
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Inside a Fire & Flower retail store

Fire & Flower is co-locating four additional cannabis stores with Circle K in Ontario.

The new co-located stores, subject to the Licensing Agreements, are anticipated to open within the coming weeks.

  • 10010 McLaughlin Rd., Brampton, Ont.
  • 138 College Ave. W., Guelph, Ont.
  • 1311 Harmony Rd. N., Oshawa, Ont.
  • 648 King St. W., Hamilton, Ont. 

"We continue to demonstrate major progress on the expansion of our strategic relationship with Couche-Tard through the licensing of Hifyre's proprietary platform and Spark Perks member program at four additional co-located cannabis stores and the proposed acquisition of two cannabis stores,"  Stéphane Trudel, CEO of Fire & Flower, said in a release.

In 2019, Couche-Tard kicked off its foray into the cannabis market with an initial investment giving the convenience retailer rights to 9.9% of Fire & Flower's equity and the potential to increase its stake to 50.1% for a total of $380 million.

Couche-Tard recently committed additional financial support through an $11 million loan and $5 million private placement, which is subject to the receipt of shareholder approval.

Fire & Flower continues to pursue additional opportunities to expand its Circle K co-located store program.

"Having access to Circle K's valued real estate through these co-located stores demonstrates the differentiating value of the strategic relationship with our partner, Alimentation Couche-Tard," says Trudel, who took over as CEO in June and was previously SVP operations for the convenience giant.  "We continue to enhance a fast and convenient cannabis shopping experience with the Hifyre technology platform and recently began the delivery of other complimentary products, including snack foods through the Firebird Delivery platform."

"Couche-Tard continues to see promise in the cannabis market and is committed to learning more about the space as it evolves both in Canada and beyond," added Alex Miller, executive vice-president of operations, North America of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. "With now five co-located cannabis stores next to high-traffic Circle K stores in the Greater Toronto area, we see it as a natural extension of our expertise to pair our convenient shopping experience and differentiating store footprint with the growing customer demand for cannabis products."

These license agreements mean that the four additional stores will expand upon the success of existing Circle K co-located cannabis stores through use of the Hifyre cannabis technology platform and the Spark Perks member program. In turn, there will be seven Circle K co-located cannabis stores operating either under Fire & Flower corporate or technology licensing business models in Alberta and Ontario.

In addition, Fire & Flower announced it has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement to acquire two cannabis retail stores in Kingston, Ontario from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Couche-Tard. 

Subject to approval, the stores - at 500 Gardiners Road and 1100 Princess Street - are anticipated to open as Fire & Flower owned, operated and branded stores in the fourth quarter of this year.

Fire & Flower is a cannabis consumer retail and technology platform with more than 90 corporate-owned stores in its network. Through the strategic investment of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the company has set its sights on global expansion as new cannabis markets emerge. It is is poised to expand into the United States when permitted through its strategic licensing agreement with Fire & Flower U.S. 

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