TORONTO —Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. have opened a Spark Perks Cannabis Store adjacent to a Circle K—and it’s expected to be the first of several convenience-cannabis stores from the brands.
The Spark Perks is located directly next to a Circle K in Brampton, Ontario, and showcases a convenience-cannabis-store model that expands on the products offered by the Circle K store including fuel, car wash, food, snacks and other convenience items.
“This convenience-based shopping model is a major step change in the industry and provides a competitive advantage for both Fire & Flower and Circle K in the transformation of the cannabis consumer shopping experience,” said Stéphane Trudel, CEO of Fire & Flower. “Fire & Flower anticipates reaching a total of 10 Circle K co-located stores operating using its technology and brands within the next 12 months. The opening of this store in the [greater Toronto area] demonstrates our progress toward this goal and builds upon the two pilot stores that are already open and operating in Alberta.”
Members of Spark Perks, Fire & Flower’s loyalty program, and Circle K customers are served quickly at the store, which features the Hifyre digital retail platform licensed to Circle K, Fire & Flower said.
- Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 list of biggest U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard and Toronto-based Fire & Flower have a Master Franchise Agreement in several provinces to operate the Fire & Flower-branded cannabis stores co-located with Circle K stores and using Hifyre. Couche-Tard made a strategic investment in the brand in 2019, investing about $26 million for a 9.9% ownership interest.
Through Couche-Tard’s investment, Fire & Flower said it was eyeing a global expansion as new cannabis markets emerge and is poised to expand in the United States when regulation changes.
Fire & Flower is a cannabis and consumer retail and technology platform with more than 90 corporate-owned stores in its network. The company leverages its wholly owned technology development subsidiary, Hifyre Inc., to advance its proprietary retail operations model.
Couche-Tard’s 24-country global c-store network includes approximately 9,300 locations in North America, with more than 7,100 in the United States, primarily under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners, and approximately 2,100 in Canada under the Circle K, Mac’s and Couche-Tard banners.
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