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The price of convenience?

April 2019

I have a question for those who profess that selling alcoholic beverages in convenience stores will result in higher prices: Could this just be the price of convenience? Your local Macs, Circle K or Happy/Lucky/Fortune primarily exist for convenience sake; for a quick stop to get milk, cigarettes or some snacks for the road.

Most of us will have noticed that the usual “grocery” items are generally more expensive than what you will find at your local grocery store. This is because you are paying for the convenience of a store that is open longer hours or even 24 hours in some cases. They are for those times you need something quick or at an unusual hour that will save you the drive to a grocery store at the other end of town. There is a reason that many are colloquially called “corner stores,” as there’s seemingly one on every corner.

In Quebec, they are called a Dépanneur, which in Quebecios French is slang for the “get out of trouble store.”

The price of grocery items in convenience stores is also a reason why most people don’t do their weekly grocery shopping at them.

Finally, let’s not forget market forces and if one convenience store wants to get more business through their doors, they will sell their alcohol at a price lower than the store on the next corner.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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