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Liquor Stores NA Set To Expand Into The Northeast

November 20, 2015

Liquor Stores NA Ltd., a Canada-based retailer whose U.S. presence has so far been limited to Kentucky and Alaska, has announced plans to enter three new states: New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. In New Jersey, Liquor Stores NA has agreed to pay $15 million to acquire a 51% stake in Birchfield Ventures LLC, which owns two large-format stores operating as Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor (in Lawrence Township and Woodbridge Township). Under the terms, Liquor Stores NA has the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in Birchfield in the future. Birchfield had sales of $47 million in 2014, and is expected to exceed that total this year.

Concurrently, Liquor Stores NA, based in Edmonton, Alberta, says it will enter the Massachusetts and Connecticut markets by mid-next year with two new large-format stores in the Boston suburb of Berlin and Norwalk, respectively. President and CEO Stephen Bebis said the four new Northeast stores—which range from 16,000 to 25,000 square feet—will provide the group with “major growth drivers. We’re diversifying our revenue base so that we’re not as dependent on the cyclical Alberta economy, and growing our business with a significant presence in the Northeastern United States.”

The publicly traded Liquor Stores NA currently has 249 stores, including 23 in Alaska, where it operates as Brown Jug, and 13 in Kentucky, where it operates as Liquor Barn. The retailer posted a 5% sales increase to $551 million in 2014, including a 14% jump to $180 million in the U.S.

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