CBD/Hemp

Fire & Flower, Alimentation Couche-Tard Expand Partnership

Companies agree to more co-located licensing deals, store acquisitions
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TORONTO — Cannabis consumer retail and technology platform Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. is expanding its partnership with Circle K convenience-store chain owner Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

The companies made license agreements to use Fire & Flower’s Hifyre digital retail platform and Spark Perks member program at four additional cannabis stores located next to Circle K stores and have a proposed acquisition of two cannabis retail stores in Kingston, Ontario.

“Couche-Tard continues to see promise in the cannabis market and is committed to learning more about the space as it evolves both in Canada and beyond,” said Alex Miller, executive vice president of operations, North America of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. “With now five co-located cannabis stores next to high-traffic Circle K stores in the Greater Toronto area, we see it as a natural extension of our expertise to pair our convenient shopping experience and differentiating store footprint with the growing customer demand for cannabis products.”

  • Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.

In 2019, Couche-Tard made a strategic investment in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., investing about $26 million for a 9.9% ownership interest.

Couche-Tard has also recently committed its financial support through a previously announced $11 million loan and $5 million private placement, subject to shareholder approval, Fire & Flower CEO Stéphane Trudel said.

“Having access to Circle K's valued real estate through these co-located stores demonstrates the differentiating value of the strategic relationship with our partner, Alimentation Couche-Tard,” Trudel said. “We continue to enhance a fast and convenient cannabis shopping experience with the Hifyre technology platform and recently began the delivery of other complimentary products, including snack foods through the Firebird Delivery platform.”

The additional four co-located stores would be in Guelph, Hamilton, Brampton and Oshawa, Ontario. With the execution of the licensing agreements between Fire and Flower and a wholly owned subsidiary of Couche-Tard, there will be seven Circle K co-located cannabis stores operating either under Fire and Flower corporate or technology licensing business models in the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario, the company said.  

Fire & Flower is also acquiring two cannabis retail stores in Kingston, Ontario, from a wholly owned subsidiary of Couche-Tard. The stores are anticipated to open as Fire & Flower owned, operated and branded stores in fourth-quarter 2022.

Laval, Quebec-based 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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