The retail commercial real estate market in Canada is booming, even with all the current pandemic challenges. One of the most prominent players in the Canadian retail space, Couche-Tard, seems to be stronger than ever – and it's getting bigger with each coming day.
The Canadian convenience store giant is now entering the cannabis retail sector, with plans to open a cannabis retail store in Ontario. This may be surprising to some, but Couche-Tard is actually being smart and looking ahead.
The Canadian cannabis industry is carrying its weight in the retail sector. This niche market continues to play a huge part in the 2020 retail CRE growth in the country.
Since the beginning of 2020, Canada has added 431 new cannabis retail locations. In August 2020 alone, Canada opened 46 new cannabis retail stores.
That’s a total of 1,097 stores or a whopping 65% increase since last year when looking at the same period. Canadian retail niches like the cannabis retail industry are growing strong with only 7%, or 158 of the stores located in Ontario.
Alimentation Couche-Tard is a convenience-store giant is headquartered in Laval, Quebec, Canada outside Montreal. Their name Couche-Tard means “night owl” or “late sleeper” in French, thus accordingly they operate more than 14,500 convenience stores all over the world with 2,131 locations in Canada.
Since 1980, Couche-Tard has been continuously expanding its empire. The current pandemic has affected its sales, just like everyone else's, but only to a small extent. That's because Couche-Tard remains as innovative as ever and they continue to acquire new businesses in their niche.
The most recent adventure for them includes them leap into the Canadian cannabis retail sector, where demand keeps growing every day.
Couche-Tard joined forces with Canopy Growth Corporation, one of Canada's biggest cannabis companies, that is headquartered in Smith Falls, Canada. Couche-Tard plans to open a cannabis store in Ontario with their new partner.
But this isn't the first time Couche-Tard has explored cannabis retail in Canada. Last year, it partnered up with Fire & Flower who already operates roughly 23 cannabis retail stores in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Couche-Tard bought a 9% stake in the dispensary in 2019, of which it plans to increase ownership in this Edmonton-based cannabis dispensary to 50.1%.
The Canadian cannabis retail niche is budding. There are so many reasons why it is growing strong including their focus to invest in innovative solutions that allow them to continue to do business during times of COVID-19. Furthermore, their ability to attract investors and team up with other niche retail industries has proven to be another key element that keeps sales growing strong.
Convenience store owner Couche-Tard is one example of how retailers are tapping into the growing retail cannabis markets to also keep their portfolios strong. To learn more about retail CRE opportunities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, contact ReDev today.