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Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia pummel flavoured e-cigarette and vaping products


With no political resistance at all, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have changed legislation and regulations to ban flavoured e-cigarettes and juices. ACSA president Mike Hammoud is disappointed that no there were no consultations with the convenience retailing industry by either government and wonders if the bans could have unintended consequences.

 

“The flavour bans will likely result in the increased availability and consumption of illegal and unregulated flavoured products,” says Hammoud. “And it’s these products that have the greatest potential for harm to users simply because we don’t know what’s in them.”

 

Hammoud says that the flavour bans also lose sight of the original intent of vaping products: “Vaping let tobacco smokers switch to a less harmful source of nicotine and was meant to aid in helping these former smokers wean themselves off nicotine. Many former smokers prefer flavoured vaping products, so what are they going to do now? And where’s the motivation for a tobacco smoker to switch?”

 

The ACSA is encouraging the New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador governments to take a more cautious and informed approach to reducing vaping among youth: “Youth vaping is a serious issue and our industry fully supports efforts to significantly reduce, and ideally eliminate, youth vaping. But limiting accessibility is a complex issue and just banning flavoured e-cigarettes and juices is too simplistic.”

 

Hammoud was also complimentary on the solidarity of convenience store retailers in their concern as to how PEI and Nova Scotia have been approaching the issue. We are pleased to be discussing this issue with, Anne Kothawala, and the Convenience Industry Council of Canada. Whether you are an independent, or a corporate chain, whether you have one store or many, the fact remains that convenience stores are proven partners and responsible retailers of many age restricted categories. Retailers are not pleased with rules and regulations that impact them, and impact their customers without input, discussion or consultation.

 

 

Rough road ahead for recreational cannabis


There has been no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so far for recreational cannabis producers and retailers since consumer access was legalized a year ago. The number of retail outlets is woefully low in some jurisdictions; legal product can’t displace the illegal market because of pricing and accessibility; product supply went from too little to too much; and producers have been hammered taking back retail product that governments can’t sell.  

 

Case in point…New Brunswick is ditching its government owned retail channel and is looking for someone in the private sector to take over the business.

 

And the rush is on to get Health Canada approval for cannabis derivatives – edibles, drinks, concentrates and topicals – as the second wave of recreational cannabis access – also known as Cannabis 2.0 – became legal in October.

 

Expectations are high with Deloitte estimating the market to be worth $2.7 billion annually. But there’s no shortage of risk with the number of different products and amount of supply coming onstream and the fickleness of provincial and territorial governments.

Case in point…In response to youth vaping concerns with flavoured products, both Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will not be retailing flavoured cannabis vaping products.

 

Time will tell.

 

 

ACSA continues push for expanded beverage alcohol retailing through convenience stores in New Brunswick


NB Liquor doesn’t see the need, but the ACSA disagrees and maintains that there should be broader retailing of packaged beverage alcohol through convenience stores in New Brunswick.

 

According to NB Liquor, retail distribution is essentially saturated with 66 grocery stores, 90 licensed agency stores and NB Liquor’s own corporate stores retailing wine, beer and spirits. The ACSA thinks that the current situation creates an unfair competitive landscape and that consumers should determine where they want to purchase packaged beverage alcohol.

 

“As convenience retailers we all know it’s a big competitive advantage when you have packaged beverage alcohol in your product line-up,” says Mike Hammoud, president of the ACSA. “Instead of NB Liquor picking and choosing, let’s open up the retail channel and let the marketplace and open competition decide where it’s worthwhile to carry packaged beverage alcohol.”

 

Hammoud recently met with Finance Minister Ernie Steeves for the second time in five months to discuss beverage alcohol retailing. Steeves, who is responsible for the Liquor Control Act and NB Liquor, says that the government is open to hearing ideas on how beverage alcohol retailing can be reasonably expanded. He also agreed to a joint meeting with NB Liquor and the ACSA to discuss packaged beverage alcohol retailing.

  

 

New Brunswick looks to modernize liquor laws


Calling them “antiquated,” the New Brunswick government is looking to modernize a number of liquor laws in the Liquor Control Act and regulations to reduce red tape and barriers for the private sector. The review is being led by the Department of Public Safety who will make recommendations to government. The public will then have an opportunity to provide feedback on the actual changes that the government will be proposing.

 

An important change under consideration that impacts the convenience retailing industry is allowing underage employees to handle unopened packaged beverage alcohol, including stocking shelves and cashiering. Right now, only adult employees in a licensed agency store can handle packaged beverage alcohol.

 

“We really appreciate improvements like this that the government is considering,” says convenience retailer Chris Scholten. One of Scholten’s stores is a licensed agency and staff scheduling under the current regulations is a challenge.

 

“Your hands are really tied with staff planning when only adults can handle packaged beverage alcohol,” says Scholten. “Even simple things like staff breaks become a problem.”

 

Public Safety says that the department plans on having their recommendations ready early in 2020.

 

 

 

Second annual Atlantic Convenience Expo gets thumbs up approval from exhibitors and visitors


October’s second annual Atlantic Convenience Expo at the Halifax Convention Centre received strong reviews from both exhibitors and visitors. After a strong start last year with the inaugural ACE show, 2019’s event saw more exhibitors on the show floor and more visitors through the door.

 

“Our research showed that something like ACE was missing as a showcase event in the Maritimes and industry’s response these past two years has been great,” says show producer Mike Hammoud. “We made some changes with timing this year and it’s an ongoing learning process to maximize opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors. We’ve been going through a post-show analysis and we’re confident that there are a number of tweaks that we can make to keep ACE entertaining and informative.”


4.1 percent increase in retail motor fuel margin granted in New Brunswick


Following a public hearing in September, the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board issued a decision that raised the maximum retail motor fuel margin 4.1 percent to 6.8 cents per litre effective November 14.

 

ASCA president Mike Hammoud says that while the increase benefits retailers, the industry generally believed that a higher increase was warranted and it’s tough to make a strong case to the NBEUB.

 

“The review started with a 2015 base year and only went up to 2017, so we’re already two years behind on our costs,” Hammoud said. “We have a lot of anecdotal feedback from retailers about what’s happening with operating costs, but the Board wants factual, evidence-based information and that’s hard to pull together.” 

 

 

 

Ministerial mandate letters from new PE premier include expanding packaged beverage alcohol retailing 


Newly elected Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King released his ministerial mandate letters on October 11. Each letter from King to his 10 ministers identifies common goals for all cabinet ministers along with specific directives for each department.

 

All mandate letters included directives that ministers remember “the importance of reducing red tape,” and that ministers consider “the climate impact while delivering on your priorities.”

 

In her mandate letter, Finance Minister Darlene Compton’s directives included being tasked with “expand[ing] the PEILCC retail program with a focus on local product to allow more consumer choice and implement[ing] a program to extend the availability of alcoholic beverages at private retailers.”

 

ACSA board member Ramona Roberts from Prince Edward Island is hopeful that opportunities will open up for Island convenience retailers: “We’ve been advocating for a number of years in Prince Edward Island for expanded private sector retailing of beverage alcohol. We’ve proposed distribution and retailing models and at this point we have to stay in touch with PEILCC and government decision makers as they look at their options.”

 

 

Retail motor fuel margin increase application filed in Newfoundland and Labrador


Convenience retailer Glenn Sullivan has filed an application with the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities for an increase in the retail motor fuel margin. Sullivan and his wife own and operate nine convenience stores in Newfoundland.

 

“The last margin adjustment was back at the beginning of 2015 and my operating costs have really jumped despite our efforts,” said Sullivan. “And there’s only so much cost cutting that you can do before you start to hurt your customer service.”

 

Sullivan approached the ACSA about assisting him with the application and ACSA president Mike Hammoud says that the association was more than happy to help out.

 

“Over the years we’ve gained a lot of experience throughout Atlantic Canada with margin reviews, so it was good to use that experience to help Glenn put his application together,” said Hammoud.

 

The application was submitted to the PUB in November and Sullivan is waiting for a response from the Board. 

 

 

New Members Update


Wow. It seems every week new retail members are signing up to join the ACSA to tap into the many programs and benefits available. Here are some of the many new retail and associate members that have joined the ACSA. Feel free to direct referrals our way and please reach out to connect with these great new member businesses that are now supporting your ACSA.

 

New Associate Members:

Pointy - Dublin, Ireland


Pointy is a retail tech platform that turns online searches like “convenience store near me” into in-store sales for you. Pointy connects to your point of sale and builds an online storefront of all your products on Google. You scan your products as normal and they’ll appear on this online storefront. When nearby people search for products you sell, they can come up on Google alongside product details like whether it’s in stock, your store opening hours, contact details, and directions. Pointy is a one-off purchase, with no monthly or yearly recurring fees. It also includes a 90-day money-back guarantee so you can give Pointy a try completely risk-free. So why not try it and see if it can get more customers into your store?

For more information contact:     

Caroline Brady [email protected]

Agnieszka Ziólkowska [email protected]

 

 

ReCreation Marketing - Laval, Quebec


ReCreation is a specialty marketing and distribution firm focused on building brands in the Canadian smoking, vaping and alternative products categories. ReCreation’s management has significant expertise in marketing and distributing tobacco products throughout Canada, with over 50 years of combined experience building and managing a portfolio of premium brands. ReCreation’s management is supported by a team of expert sales associates who serve up to 30,000 traditional retail outlets and newly established cannabis dispensaries

Kevin McDonald [email protected]

 

New Retail Members:


Bridgewater Petro-Canada – Bridgewater, NS (Yasser Hammoud)

Charlie’s General Store – Havelock, NB

(Dana Hicks)

Donovan’s Irving – Mount Pearl, NL

(Terry Lidstone)

Fairview Variety – Halifax, NS

(Youssef Zukkar)

Hammond’s Kwik-way – Chester, NS

(Hassen Hammoud)

Hydrostone Groceteria – Halifax, NS

(Lee Rabahi)

Kennedy’s Variety & Deli – Bible Hill, NS

(Kevin Kennedy)

Murray’s Irving – Woodstock, NB

(Calvin Grant)

Ohio Esso & Convenience – Yarmouth, NS

(Earl Nickerson)

Penobsquis Corner Gas - Penobsquis, NB

(Denis Poirier)

Quick Stop Convenience – Cornwall, PE

(Bob Carmichael)

Rick’s Variety – Halifax, NS

(Dinesh Sharma)

 

 

Retail excellence recognized at 11th Retail Convenience Awards Gala


Excellence among both suppliers and retailers was recognized at the 11th Retail Convenience Awards Gala held in October at the Halifax Convention Centre.

 

Winner in the Innovative Beverage category was the 250ml Coca-Cola Mini Bottle, while Nestlé Coffee Crisp Thins took home the award for Innovative Food. The third winner on the supplier side was JUUL Labs who won in the Innovative Product category with their e-cigarette product.

 

President’s Excellence awards in retail were awarded to Chris Scholten of Scholten’s, who operates several c-stores in New Brunswick, Christine Duguay, who owns and operates Cap-Pelé Esso in Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick, and Jeff Doucette, who is general manager of the Mel’s chain of 11 c-stores in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. 

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Mixed reviews on 2018 federal budget from Atlantic c-store retailersThe upside of more support for small business in the federal government’s February budget was offset by higher excise taxes on tobacco says Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association.“We’re certainly optimistic about the federal government’s commitment to reducing red tape, and the clearer rules around the tax treatment of passive income in private corporations,” says Hammoud. “On the othe

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CCSA rolls out 7th annual Convenience Store DayOrganizers targeting $100,000 for children’s charityThe second annual national Convenience Store Day and seventh annual event is scheduled for August 29, 2018. Convenience Store Day, or C-Store Day, recognizes the contributions that convenience stores make to their communities, while helping to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.In 2017, more than 190 community leaders worked along-side convenience store owners and staff, h

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Nova Scotia commits to further red tape reductionIn support of the provincial government’s red tape reduction efforts, Service Nova Scotia has created three new Business Navigator positions. These new staff will assist both new and existing businesses in navigating what the government admits can be “a daunting and complex regulatory environment.”Atlantic premiers commit to additional regional regulatory efficiency initiativesIn late February, Atlantic Canada’s four premiers committed to

22nd October 2016

cracking down on illegal cigarette sales is good for government coffers and preventing youth smoking

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A third annual study of illegal cigarette consumption in Newfoundland continues to show unacceptably high levels of criminal activity says a spokesperson for the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association, who commissioned the research.“The latest research indicates that the prevalence of illegal cigarettes in Newfoundland is likely something in the range of 15 per cent,” says Mike Hammoud, president of the association. “That’s a lot of illegal sales and it’s costing the provincial govern

22nd September 2016

convenience store retailers support crackdown on illegal tobacco sales in new brunswick

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New Brunswick convenience store retailers are supporting a crackdown on illegal tobacco sales in the province in a new partnership between the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association and New Brunswick Crime Stoppers. The partnership announcement was made at the same time the association released a new study showing that illegal cigarette sales in the province remain high.“The provincial government’s new Contraband Enforcement Unit is on the right track and is starting to make an impact, but

30th August 2016

illegal cigarette sales in nova scotia too high

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Convenience store retailers in Nova Scotia say that the illegal sale of tobacco products undermines the health, safety and well-being of communities, and that illegal sales in the province are too high.In a study released by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association, illegal cigarettes accounted for 20 per cent of almost 4,000 cigarette ends collected from 29 sites across Nova Scotia in June and analyzed. The presence of illegal cigarettes ranged from 6.5 per cent to 33.8 per cent at the sites

13th August 2016

retailers not celebrating 10 years of gasoline regulation

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It was ten years ago that the then government of Bernard Lord legislated petroleum price regulation in New Brunswick. Fast forward to a milestone anniversary of regulation this week and some pundits are celebrating its “success” and how consumers have benefited from lower gas prices.Well, gasoline retailers in the province aren’t celebrating. And while the sky may not have fallen as critics of regulation were warning 10 years ago, the economic picture is far from rosy.Most consumers don’

22nd April 2016

atlantic c-store news april 2016

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Budget updates…All of the Atlantic provincial budgets have been tabled. It’s tough times fiscally for all of the provinces and there’s a mix of good news and not so good news for the c-store industry coming from the budgets.First off was New Brunswick. The good news is that the government announced that it was going ahead with the creation of a dedicated Contraband Enforcement Unit to crack down on the illegal tobacco trade in the province. Bad news is that the tobacco tax was raised immed

20th December 2015

atlantic c-store news december 2015

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Retail excellence honoured at the 2015 Retail Convenience Awards GalaAtlantic Canada’s convenience store industry recognized industry excellence at the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association’s 7th annual Retail Convenience Awards Gala held at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax in early November.Sponsored by Atlantic Lottery Corporation, the awards recognize excellence in six categories: President’s Excellence, Emerging Excellence, Innovative Beverage, Innovative Food, Innovative Product, and I

5th November 2015

best in atlantic canada’s convenience store industry celebrated

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Halifax, November 5, 2015: Atlantic Canada’s convenience store industry recognized industry excellence at the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association’s 7th annual Retail Convenience Awards Gala held at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax last night.The convenience store industry in Atlantic Canada employs an estimated 28,300 people full and part-time at 3,300 convenience store locations across the region, and generates more than a half-billion dollars in annual sales.Sponsored by Atlantic Lottery

29th October 2015

more than 20 per cent of cigarette butts found at four ns high schools illegal product

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HALIFAX, October 29, 2015: A new study released by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association found that illegal cigarettes accounted for 22.5 per cent of the samples of cigarette ends collected at popular smoking areas near four Nova Scotia high schools.“The provincial government banned flavoured tobacco because they were concerned about underage smokers,” says Warren Maynard, of CST Ultramar, of Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Yet, it appears the problem of organized crime targeting underage you

6th October 2015

is the provincial government losing millions in tobacco taxes to illegal cigarette sales

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New study shows illegal cigarette sales should be a concern to everyoneSt. John’s, NL [October 6, 2015]: New research commissioned by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association shows that illegal cigarettes could account for more than 10 per cent of all cigarettes smoked in Newfoundland.“This is the second year that we’ve studied the prevalence of illegal cigarettes in Newfoundland and both studies indicate that it’s likely more than 10 per cent,” says Mike Hammoud, president of the a

15th September 2015

acsa – september 2015 newsletter

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Atlantic c-stores recognized as important part of communityOn August 26, the ACSA held its fourth annual Convenience Store Day in the four Atlantic provinces. As part of the annual event, more than 125 community leaders and politicians volunteered for 20-minute shifts at 49 plus convenience stores throughout the region, raising money for local charity.  This year’s event raised over $50,000 for Crime Stoppers Nova Scotia and Children’s Wish Foundation NFLD, NB, NS and PEI.Much of the ne

21st August 2015

illegal cigarette sales in new brunswick remain high

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Presence of illegal cigarettes at 11 high schools tested averages 26 percentNew Brunswickers are busy buying illegal cigarettes according to research findings released today by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association.Illegal cigarettes accounted for 24 percent of almost 4,000 cigarette ends collected from 27 sites across New Brunswick in late May/early June and analyzed. The presence of illegal cigarettes averaged 26 percent at 11 high school sites tested.Overall findings are considered to b

7th May 2015

gas pump climate change warning labels

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The ACSA submitted the following letter to Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc in response to their recent resolution to encourage the use of point-of-sale gas pump climate change warning labels.May 7, 2015Mayor George LeBlancCity of Moncton655 Main StreetMoncton, NB E1C 1E8Via email: [email protected]: Gas pump climate change warning labelsDear Mayor LeBlanc:The Atlantic Convenience Stores Association is a not-for-profit organization representing the business interests of Atlantic

26th April 2015

n.s. government’s flavoured tobacco ban an attack on small business owners

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Barely two weeks’ notice before major ban takes effectHALIFAX [May 26, 2015] – Hundreds of hard working convenience store owners across the province will suffer significant losses at the hand of the provincial government due to its hostile approach to new legislation.Giving convenience store owners only 14 days to clear inventory before a major flavoured tobacco ban takes effect at the end of May amounts to an extreme penalty against small business owners by a government trying to score

22nd April 2015

nova scotia flavoured tobacco ban start date unreasonable, costly to industry

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40 days simply not long enough to clear wholesale and retail productHALIFAX – [April 22, 2015]: The timing of plans by the Government of Nova Scotia to ban most flavoured tobacco products starting May 31st is unreasonable say convenience store retailers.“I have flavoured tobacco inventory that will take at least six months to clear,” says Tony Diab, a Dartmouth convenience store owner. “That’s the way the business works. The government wants to start its ban in 40 days. That’s going

16th March 2015

acsa extremely disappointed with nova scotia tobacco access act amendments

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The Nova Scotia government has tabled amendments to the Tobacco Access Act that will ban almost all flavoured tobacco products. Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association, says that there is no basis in reality for doing this.“The big issue was the candy-flavoured tobacco products that were clearly targeting minors,” says Hammoud. “But then they take a sledgehammer to the issue and ban virtually everything that is flavoured, including menthol.”“There is no e

23rd January 2015

retailer profile: margie boone

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Margie Boone has been a part of the convenience store industry all her life, beginning at the young age of 13 working in small mom & pop shops. Over the last five decades, Margie has steadily advanced her career to taking on management of various Ultramar sites. These days Margie can be found managing Kenmount Corner Store in St. John’s, Newfoundland.What is Margie’s secret to a successful and happy career in the convenience store industry?“It’s the people” says Margie. “One of t

20th November 2014

atlantic c-store news – november 2014

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Atlantic Retailers Participate in National Lobby DayAtlantic retailers including: Ramona Roberts, Terry Moore, Warren Maynard, Craig Pardy, Dennis Kim and Nick Pitre joined retailers from across Canada in Ottawa on September 16 as part of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association’s National Lobby Day. The retailers met with their regional members of parliament from all parties to create awareness of issues impacting the c-store industry.The Atlantic retailers were consistent in their messagi

6th November 2014

best in atlantic canada’s convenience store industry celebrated at 2014 retail convenience award

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Best in Atlantic Canada’s convenience store industry celebrated at 2014 Retail Convenience Awards[Halifax, November 6, 2014] Atlantic Canada’s convenience store industry recognized industry excellence at the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association’s 6th annual Retail Convenience Awards Gala held at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax last night. The convenience store industry in Atlantic Canada employs an estimated 25,900 people full- and part-time at 3,012 convenience store locations across the

10th April 2014

atlantic c-store news – april 2014

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Holding the line on tobacco taxesFiscal 2014 – 2015 budgets have been tabled in the Atlantic provinces and the ACSA is pleased that three of the four provinces held the line on increasing tobacco taxes.“There is reliable evidence that increasing tobacco taxes without strengthening penalties for illegally selling tobacco has little effect on reducing smoking and increases black market demand for illegal smokes,” says ACSA president Mike Hammoud. “You’re just shifting demand underground

22nd January 2014

atlantic c-store news – january 2014

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ACSA gears up for pre-budget consultationsEach year, provincial finance ministers hold pre-budget consultations. The ACSA has always actively participated in this process, meeting personally with finance ministers, attending public consultation meetings, and submitting briefs.This year will be no different and the ACSA will be focusing on several issues, including: a) the negative impact of increasing tobacco taxes to try and increase government revenue; b) cracking down on contraband tobacco as