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Sales Per Store: How Do You Stack Up?

By the end of May 2021, there were 2,078 cannabis retail stores in Canada. Altogether, retailers brought in over $313 million in sales that month—that means, on average, each store earned $150,751.20 in May.

Obviously, that average is just that: the average. A rural store in Newfoundland and Labrador won’t see the same numbers as a store on a busy corner in downtown Toronto—or will they? How does each province compare?

Public versus Private Retail

Looking at each province’s average sales per store, the first thing that jumps out is the sizeable difference between provinces that sell cannabis through a public entity and provinces that allow private businesses to sell cannabis.

Quebec sits in first place, way ahead of the competition, with an average of $728,764.70 per month for each of its 68 stores. Montreal, Quebec City, and Gatineau top the list of cities with the highest average per month, as well. SQDC stores in Montreal bring in an average of $3.6 million per month, along with $1.17 in Quebec City and $1.5 million from Gatineau.

Similarly, the 30 Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation stores that also sell cannabis earned $239,600 per month, and the 20 Cannabis NB stores sold $317,950 worth of cannabis each. There is a marked difference when compared to Newfoundland and Labrador, which has 30 retail locations but each only brings in $157,367.

# Province Sales/Store
1 Quebec $ 728,765
2 New Brunswick $ 317,950
3 Nova Scotia $ 239,600
4 Saskatchewan $ 194,955
5 Newfoundland $ 157,367
6 Ontario $ 143,269
7 Manitoba $ 135,216
8 British Columbia $ 134,458
9 P.E.I. $ 107,750
10 N.W.T. $ 101,833
11 Alberta $  93,708

Above Average

The first province with private retail to rank above average may surprise some. Saskatchewan has the fourth-highest average in the country, with each of its 66 retailers making an average of $194,955. This Prairie province has been applauded for its ‘hands-off approach to cannabis retail, with the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association (SLGA) only assigning licenses. Retailers in the province don’t even have to buy their cannabis through a provincial body. They are allowed to make their own relationships with producers to get the best deal. Since legalization, retailers in the province have banded together, creating retailer associations and co-operatives to help smaller retailers connect with producers. As a largely rural province, stores are spread out as much as they can be, and haven’t seen the bloat that other provinces have.

Newfoundland and Labrador, an Atlantic province with private brick-and-mortar retail but public distribution, comes in at number five with 30 stores earning an average of $157,367. The province has been working hard at adding new locations and leaning into the local craft cannabis culture sprouting in the Atlantic provinces.

# City Sales/Store
1 Montreal $ 3,617,857
2 Gatineau $ 1,503,000
3 Quebec City $ 1,178,000
4 Ottawa $   533,850
5 Vancouver $   338,395
6 Toronto $   333,016
7 Winnipeg $   171,735
8 Edmonton $   111,517
9 Calgary $   161,968

Below Average

Unfortunately, the rest of the provinces fall below the average.

Provincially, Ontario’s average monthly sales per store have fallen to $143,269. When adjusting for Toronto and Ottawa’s sales, that number drops below $100,000. Keeping in mind the drastically lower population and cost of doing business outside of the city, are these revenues sustainable?

Populations with large rural populations, with the exception of Saskatchewan, seem to trend lower when it comes to average sales per store, like Manitoba and the rest of the provinces on the list, excluding Alberta.

While Alberta does have rural pockets outside of its central urban areas, its average sales per store has continued to decline as store numbers increase but sales don’t, now as low as $93,708 for each of its more than 600 stores. Population centres Calgary and Edmonton seem to be faring a little bit better, but for how long?

Tags: Canada Cannabis (138), Cannabis Retail Store (47), Cannabis Sales by Province (3), cannabis store sales (2), public vs private cannabis (2), sales per cannabis store (1)