Sobeys is going all-in with the liquor business in Saskatchewan.
The grocery giant has been awarded a licence to open nine additional liquor stores throughout the province, bringing its total up to 11.
It’s all part of a large-scale privatizing of Saskatchewan’s liquor industry, which includes plans for new ownership of 50 liquor outlets. Other operators will include co-ops and private owners.
Keri Scobie, Sobeys’ Calgary-based director of communications, said details are still being finalized for specific locations within nine communities, the size of the stand-alone stores and when they’ll open. She said two would cut the ribbon within the next 18 months.
The company already operates one liquor store in Saskatoon and another in Regina. Both locations are about 10,000 square feet in size.
“It’s been a very positive experience for us. We’ve brought a modern liquor retailing experience to both of our stores,” she said.
With the stores located in close proximity to their Sobeys outlets, Scobie said the company hopes to gain a larger share of wallets by offering near one-stop shopping.
“We look at it as a convenience factor for our customers and being there for all of their needs,” she said.
Both Regina and Saskatoon will get another liquor store while Sobeys will open one in each of Battleford, Emerald Park, Kindersley, Melville, Moose Jaw, Tisdale and Yorkton.
“This is a great opportunity for us to expand the footprint we have in the province. If there are opportunities in other markets, we’ll be open to that, too,” she said.