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Saturday, Jul 2, 2022
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


High Tide to acquire Bud Room and kiosk tech for $3.6M

According to a pilot, 60% of customers preferred using kiosks to buy their cannabis

Photo via High Tide

Leading Canadian cannabis retailer High Tide Inc. (TSXV: HITI) (Nasdaq: HITI) (FSE: 2LYA) plans to start selling pot out of retail kiosks and “smart lockers” by the end of the month, via a new acquisition.

On Wednesday, the Calgary-based company said it signed an agreement to buy Bud Room Inc., which includes a store in Ottawa and its app-based ordering technology Fastendr.

As per the deal, High Tide will acquire Bud Room for $3.2 million in common shares and $360,000 cash for the assignment of that amount of the vendor’s shareholder loans.

Image via High Tide Inc.

Fastendr is a retail kiosk where customers select and pay for their product. The order is then fulfilled by an employee and placed into a “smart locker” that only the customer has access to via a code. Customers are also able to order via an app, and pick up their order directly from the locker.

The Fastendr was at piloted the Bud Room store, which reportedly boosted sales by 20 per cent. And 60 per cent of customers said they preferred using it.

The kiosk is meant to provide an end-to-end customer experience, speeding up transaction times and increasing basket size, while lowering overhead and labour costs.

Read more: High Tide’s Canna Cabana stores get approval to operate in BC

Read more: High Tide switches to discount club model

The company says this is one of its most exciting acquisitions to date, and later this month it will place kiosks in all Canna Cabana locations starting in Ontario.

“This technology will also allow us to generate third-party revenue, provide data collection and monetization opportunities while supporting an unparalleled retail shopping experience for our customers,” CEO Raj Grover said in a statement.

“Fastendr is a perfect solution for smaller footprint stores as well as busier retail locations, as it allows for more transactions in less time and with less square footage.”

Bud Room’s CEO Michael Di Duca said his company had other parties interested in its kiosk retail technology.

“However, it became clear that choosing a partnership with Raj and his team was a no-brainer for us because we felt that our innovation deserved to be in the hands of the best cannabis company in Canada,” Di Duca explained.

Read more: High Tide sells treasury shares to raise $40M

Read more: High Tide reports quarterly revenue up 18% to $48.1M

High Tide currently owns 105 stores spanning across Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Correction (2022-01-05 3:53 p.m.): A previous headline of this article incorrectly stated the acquisition was for $3.2 million.


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