As cannabis thrives in Canada, industry giants are all vying for their place at the top. On Tuesday, Inner Spirit Holdings (Inner Spirit) announced the opening of its 75th Spiritleaf store in Canada, making them the largest single-brand cannabis retailer in Canada.
“Single-brand” is an important distinction when counting who has the highest number of stores. Other competitors like High Tide Inc., Fire & Flower, and Canopy Growth brands Tokyo Smoke and Tweed are catching up quickly in number, but each is operating under at least two different retail banners.
The new corporately-owned Spiritleaf store opened this week in St. Catharines, Ontario, just after a new franchised store opened in Stratford, bumping up the number of Spiritleaf stores to 75 nation-wide. The company has set the public goal of hitting the 100-store-mark by the end of 2021 and is well on its way with four more stores opening this month alone in Ontario and Alberta.
Success with Franchise Partners
Inner Spirit credits its franchise partners for the success of its retail network.
“Our franchise partners and employees across the country are providing superb product knowledge and expertise to customers as we serve our local communities. The performance of Spiritleaf stores has remained strong even while operating in the midst of a challenging pandemic environment,” says Darren Bondar, President and CEO of Inner Spirit. “We’re very pleased with the quality of franchise partners we are attracting and their ability to truly make the Spiritleaf brand come alive for our customers.”
Inner Spirit’s collection of stores are partly corporately-owned and partly owned by franchisees, a strategy which they believe fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and supports local communities. Franchise partners seem pleased with the arrangement as well since Spiritleaf holds a Franchisees’ Choice Designation from the Canadian Franchise Association for its national support centre.
Along with rapidly expanding its retail empire, Inner Spirit recently debuted its private-label offering, aptly named Origins.