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Canada’s August 2023 CPI increased by 4% overall compared to August 2022. Tobacco, recreational cannabis and alcohol prices were up by 5.2% according to the latest Statistics Canada consumer price index data released on September 19 (PDF).
Alcohol prices in Canada have increased dramatically over the past few years and although alcohol consumption has been considered immune to inflation, nationally, liquor and beer sales appear to be declining. As reported in the August article “Is Canada Sobering Up?” by columnist Dr. Sylvain Charlebois of the Toronto Sun, alcohol sales are down 2.8% compared to the same time period last year.
Alcohol sales have been considered immune to inflation though consumers do tend to drink more at home than in bars and restaurants during economic downturns and may switch to more affordable alcohol products. The decrease in alcohol sales is likely the results of many factors: increased living and housing costs, skyrocketing grocery prices, increased alcohol prices, and more knowledge about alcohol’s effects on health.
While country-wide alcohol sales are down, Cannabis Retailer reports cannabis sales increased by 13.55% nationally from July 2022 to July 2023. In July, cannabis sales in BC increased by 6.72% over June. Cannabis Retailer surmises that the increase may be tied to increased availability as more municipalities are allowing retail cannabis stores in their community. From June 2023 to July 2023, all provinces showed an increase in sales with the exception of Newfoundland (-7.2%) and Ontario (-0.81%).
Alcohol Sales Down in Your BC Liquor Store? Get Help from Thrive Advisors
Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors is BC’s leading liquor consultant. If your retail liquor store is struggling to meet monthly sales targets, a store audit can reveal causes beyond inflation. We audit inventories, store set up and employee training to find solutions in the data. An audit and recommendations can increase operational efficiency, reduce expenses and increase sales.