The weed wireFire & Flower closes most stores, moves to pickup only

"We have a responsibility to our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate to limit social interactions by temporarily modifying our business model," CEO says
Nick Laba Nick LabaMarch 18, 20206 min

Popular cannabis retail chain Fire & Flower has closed most of its stores, while transitioning a few remaining Ontario locations to pickup orders only.

The retailer’s parent company, Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (TSX: FAF), said in a statement Wednesday that customers in Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario, will be served exclusively through its Fastlane “click-and-collect,” which allows customers to order products online for pickup and payment in store.

The Alberta-based company’s decision follows a similar announcement from Canopy Growth Corp. (TSE: WEED) stating it was closing all of its 23 Tweed and Tokyo smoke locations by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Read more: Consumers and companies embrace cannabis retail rush before expected mass shutdown

Patrons at those Ontario locations will only be allowed into retail stores to pay for and pickup orders reserved through the fastlane service. By changing to this service model, Fire & Flower said it will help ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers, while continuing to provide cannabis products to consumers.

Fire & Flower said it’s made the difficult decision to close the following retail locations until at least March 29, 2020, effective immediately:

  • Calgary – Stanley Park: 120, 3916 Macleod Trail SE
  • Calgary – Myriad: 1114, 1108 4th Street SW
  • Edmonton – Ellwood Corner: 252 – 91 Street SW
  • Edmonton – Westmount: 12225 – 107 Avenue NW
  • Lethbridge – Upper East Side: 2 – 1276 3 Avenue South
  • Edmonton – Merchant’s Row: 3727 99 Street NW
  • St. Albert – Shoppes at Giroux: 120 – 4 Versailles Avenue

“We have a responsibility to our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate to limit social interactions by temporarily modifying our business model and selectively closing stores in response to this unprecedented public health challenge,” CEO Trevor Fencott said in the statement.

“We have rapidly commissioned a pandemic response team within Fire & Flower with the focus of keeping our people safe and healthy while ensuring the continuity and sustainability of our business,” he said.

The company said its store hours and operations for all locations will continue to be updated here.

Fire & Flower said it encourages all customers to order through the fastlane “click-and-collect” service during this time on its website.

The COVID-19 epidemic has hit the Canadian cannabis industry particularly hard, as companies face uncertainty around receiving federal relief funds, and producers start to issue temporary layoffs and shutdowns.

Read more: Justin Trudeau’s business bailouts gives cannabis the cold shoulder

Read more: COVID-19 pandemic puts Canadian cannabis operations in limbo

Top image via Fire & Flower

 

nick@mugglehead.com

@nick_laba

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