Going once, going twice, sold!
The auctions to sell the permits associated with SLGA Retail Inc. stores will begin Feb. 6. The auctions will be staggered, with the final auctions beginning Feb. 15.
“This is the next step in the process as we transition to a fully private liquor retail system,” minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority Lori Carr said. “An online auction format is being used to ensure permits are sold efficiently and transparently.”
Auctions will be held on https://mcdougallauction.com/new in real time. Interested bidders must preregister and pay a $5,000 deposit to participate in an auction. The auctions are for the permits only – there are no buildings, fixtures or inventory included in the sale. The winning bidder must also meet all terms associated with holding a retail store permit.
Once the auctions associated with SLGA Retail Inc. permits wrap up, auctions will be held for communities that qualify for an additional permit under SLGA’s population matrix, if someone has expressed interest in the permit. These auctions were suspended during the pandemic.
“The Government of Saskatchewan recently decided to exit the retail liquor space,” explained Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison. “This decision was taken with significant consideration and is a reflection of the fact consumers are largely choosing to purchase their alcohol from private retailers. This has made government stores increasingly less profitable to the point where they will soon be losing money in the aggregate.”
This, Harrison added, is why the permits associated with SLGA Retail Inc. that are closing will be sold via the upcoming online auction.
“The SaskLiquor Meadow Lake Liquor Store permit will be up for auction as a part of group three, which is Feb. 8-7,” Harrison said. “The SaskLiquor Meadow Lake liquor store will be closing Feb. 18. This is the next step in the process as we transition to a fully private liquor retail system. The auctions are for the permits only – as noted, there are no buildings, fixtures or inventory included in the sale. The winning bidder must also meet all terms associated with holding a retail store permit. The permits being sold are not tied to any specific location or previous operation, but must remain in the municipality they are associated with.”
In addition to the Meadow Lake SLGA permit being part of the third auction group scheduled for Feb. 8-17, Buffalo Narrows’ permit is part of the fourth auction group slated for Feb. 13-22 while the liquor permit in La Loche is part of the sixth and final auction group scheduled for Feb. 16-24.
by Phil Ambroziak