Fire & Flower opens shop next to Couche-Tard

By co-locating with Circle K, the cannabis retailer hopes to add a more convenient option to its omnichannel strategy.

Fire - Flower Holdings Corp--Fire - Flower Launches Pilot with A

Cannabis retailer Fire & Flower has deepened its relationship with Couche-Tard, piloting a pair of stores co-located with Circle K in Alberta.

The stores are fully owned and operated by Fire & Flower, adjacent to Circle K stores, on the same property but separated, in line with provincial regulations. The Grand River location opens today, with the Calgary store opening at some point next week.

Fire & Flower expects to benefit from having a presence in high-traffic areas. Trevor Fencott, CEO of Fire & Flower, said in a statement that adding highly convenient locations to an omnichannel experience that includes its Hyfire cannabis ecommerce and data platform, Spark Perks loyalty program and Spark Fastlane click-and-collect service creates an even more differentiated value proposition in a cannabis retail market that is becoming increasingly crowded.

The company expects this pilot to be the first of additional co-location opportunities.

Couche-Tard first entered the cannabis category in February last year, when it established a trademark license agreement with a retail license lottery winner in London, Ont. to operate a store under Canopy Growth’s Tweed brand. Later in 2019, it acquired a 9.9% stake in Fire & Flower through a deal that includes an option to gain a controlling stake in the cannabis retailer.

Fire - Flower Holdings Corp--Fire - Flower Launches Pilot with A

Retail expansion has been a priority for Fire & Flower in 2020, especially in Ontario, where it is less established but sees a big growth opportunity now that the province’s licensing process has been opened up and simplified. New construction in Ontario has been delayed by COVID-19, but the company has fully acquired its two Fire & Flower stores in the province, which were previously operated under license by retail store license holders. It has also submitted applications for an additional eight stores in the province, and intends to enter British Columbia once the licensing process is complete.

In May, the company made its first push into the Toronto market when it launched its delivery service.