Circle K Leaning Into Cannabis

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) (OTC: ANCUF), the parent company of Circle K stores is continuing to cement its relationship with cannabis company Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (TSX: FAF) (OTCQX: FFLWF). The two companies are expanding on a pilot program to open new Fire & Flower cannabis retail stores next to existing Circle K in markets across Canada.

The original Circle K co-located store pilot program started in July 2020 with the first two stores, located in Calgary and Grand Prairie, Alberta. The company said that the expansion of the pilot program between the strategic partners will see new co-located retail stores open over the next several months in the Canadian provinces of AlbertaSaskatchewan, and Manitoba. The two companies said they expect to continue this strategy with sights set on Ontario and even the U.S.

“Alimentation Couche-Tard has been an invaluable partner to Fire & Flower as we built out Canada’s largest retail network of legal cannabis products and services over the past two years. Our success in Canada, and now as we enter into the U.S., is directly attributable to the powerful consumer data and analytics technology that we have successfully employed in each of our stores through our Hifyre™ technology platform,” said Trevor Fencott, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower. “As we continue to build on our leadership position, we are leveraging our powerful consumer data, strategically working with our key partners to capture this data and, together, enhance our collective cannabis operations, allowing Fire & Flower to advance our ‘asset-light’ business model to further support our financial growth.”

The companies are also capitalizing on the technology that each has developed in order to plan the co-location sites. Fire & Flower said that it used ACT’s existing lease footprint and its own analytics platform called Hifyre to build a small-scale store that delivers strong economies of scale for both companies.

Fencott added, “As we continue to advance our relationship with Couche-Tard, we are driving a new level of service to our extensive operational footprint in Canada and beyond. We are able to leverage the power of Hifyre to allow these small co-located stores to run efficiently. The advanced analytics we provide allows stores to operate and manage inventory at maximum efficiency.”

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor-In-Chief of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Masters degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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