Costco Canada is now looking to enter into the liquor store market in another Canadian province. According to a report by CBC, Costco Canada Liquor is coming to Regina, Saskatchewan in the near future, a move that could result in a drop of alcohol prices in the area. "For Costco to come into a market like that, they are definitely a big player and that will create pressure on the existing owners that are there, for sure," explained the president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, Jim Bence, to CBC.
"Their ability to be able to offer pricing based on volume may have a real significant impact on the pricing that others have to offer just to remain competitive,” he continued.
Last Wednesday, Regina established a new rule for liquor permits determining that population size should affect how many liquor stores are allowed in towns or cities.
Limiting liquor stores based on population is considered to be “harm reduction measure,” one enforced by every province in Canada except for Alberta. Alberta also happens to the only province in Canada to have Costco liquor stores.
Costco Canada Liquor, as it is known in Alberta, appears to be located within regular Costco stores. However, the entrance to the liquor section does seem to be separate from the rest of the warehouse. Unlike Costco's wholesale warehouse, those shopping at Costco Liquor don't require a membership to enter. Costco Liquor shoppers have access to Costco's Kirkland Signature wine and spirits, including champagne, vodka and liqueurs. Canadians can browse the store's selection on the Costco Canada Liquor website.
It is unlikely that Costco Liquor will be able to expand into Ontario until the provinces is able to liberalize its liquor laws. Costco is also able to sell liquor in some states in America.