[Halifax, Nova Scotia] Nearly two-thirds of adult Nova Scotians participating in a provincial survey expressed support for retailing beer and wine in convenience stores (strongly support, support, somewhat support).
The research was commissioned by the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association and conducted independently by MQO Research in June, 2017.
Results are accurate within plus or minus five percentage points 19 times out of 20. Among survey participants who had purchased wine or beer in the last 60 days before the survey; 75% expressed some level of support for retailing beer and wine in convenience stores.
All survey participants were asked to choose from one of strongly oppose, oppose, somewhat oppose, somewhat support, support or strongly support.
“In many ways this is no surprise to us,” said Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association. “We live in a world today where consumers expect convenience and the simple act of being able to drop in to your local corner store for a bottle of wine or a small pack of beer to enjoy with dinner is all about convenience. It seems that every month or two more avenues of access are being opened. Today, you can buy beer and wine at farmer’s markets, at your local craft brewery, and at over 60 private agency stores – most of whom are convenience stores.”
Hammoud says that it’s time for the provincial government to enable all trusted community convenience retailers to sell beer and wine and provide the community what it is asking for: “The NSLC is under pressure to contribute more dollars to the provincial government by boosting revenues and cutting expenses. Convenience stores are a natural and responsible way of achieving that.”
“We are not asking for full liquor agencies. Most c-store operators and customers just want access to some of the popular beer and wine listings in convenience sizing. Its lost opportunity – if the product is not available. We are talking about a bottle of wine on a Sunday afternoon, to go with a barbeque or a couple of cans of beer, purchased on the way home, to enjoy that night watching the hockey game. These are convenience and impulse sales; not cannibalization.”
The convenience channel works. The vast majority of beer and wine in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Alberta, all 50 of the United States, and European countries is sold through convenience stores.
Convenience stores and Liquor corporations have proven that they can compliment each other, quite well. Convenience stores focus on single serve, small pack and convenience sizing and a limited number of popular listings. Liquor Corp’s and their stores provide a totally different shopping experience, offering many wine listings, liquor and high-end products.
“The timing is right. We have a situation right now where the NSLC is under pressure to launch the sale of recreational cannabis in the same stores that are selling beverage alcohol,” says Hammoud. Retail space inside their stores is becoming very scarce. “While they need to focus on the emerging cannabis sector and find room for those products, our channel is a natural ally to grow wine and other sectors to boost new incremental sales, and Government bottom line with an efficient private sector retail model.”