Alimentation Couche-Tard Expands Cannabis Partnership in Canada
Five MC Cannabis stores in the Toronto area will rebrand to Fire & Flower and operate adjacent to local Circle K c-stores.
TORONTO — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., through its subsidiary MC Cannabis Inc., is expanding its relationship with Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. by completing a master license agreement with the cannabis consumer retail and technology platform.
As part of the agreement, Fire & Flower will have the exclusive right of first opportunity to negotiate with Couche-Tard with respect to entering new retail cannabis businesses and franchise arrangements in Canada, as well a potential retail expansion to additional legal cannabis markets outside of Canada. Couche-Tard also exclusively committed to developing Fire & Flower branded retail cannabis stores in Ontario.
The first five Fire & Flower retail cannabis stores will be adjacent to Circle K convenience stores in the greater Toronto area and operate out of locations currently branded as MC Cannabis before rebranding to Fire & Flower.
The deal offers benefits to both parties, such as leveraging the Couche-Tard real estate footprint and giving Fire & Flower the opportunity to expand its brand presence in Canada, as well as expanding the reach of the Spark Perks membership program and industry-first Spark Marketplace App.
"Couche-Tard is pleased to have entered into a [an] agreement with Fire & Flower. The current co-located cannabis stores adjacent to Circle K locations and anchored by convenience stores, fuel and car wash offerings are showing growth and we look forward to combining this with the recognized Fire & Flower brand," said Steve Pitts, Couche-Tard vice president of operations, central Canada.
"With the signing of this agreement, we have achieved another important step forward with our strategic partner, Couche-Tard," added Stéphane Trudel, Fire & Flower CEO. "Successful retail is built on delighting our customers with great locations, people and products. Today, we have expanded our ability to grow the Fire & Flower network in Canada and other international legal cannabis markets by adding this scalable building block that we can further refine together in the first federally legal cannabis market in the world."
Fire & Flower has more than 90 cannabis retail stores operating in its network through the Fire & Flower, Friendly Stranger and Happy Dayz, Firebird Delivery and Spark Perks brands and uses its wholly-owned technology development subsidiary, Hifyre, to advance its proprietary retail operations model.
Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard is known globally for its Couche-Tard and Circle K banners. It operates in 24 countries and territories with more than 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer road transportation fuel. Approximately 122,000 people are employed throughout its network.