Westleaf Cannabis is Redefining Retail Across Canada
December 11th, 2018
News, Top Story
Westleaf Cannabis Inc. (“Westleaf”) is a vertically integrated cannabis company acquiring and developing assets across the cannabis value chain, with a specific focus on industry leading retail experiences and innovative product branding. Westleaf is rolling out a national retail footprint for its retail concept “Prairie Records”, with stores planned for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, which leverages the instinctual tie of recreational cannabis and music and redefines the cannabis purchasing experience. For more information, please visit www.westleaf.com or www.prairierecords.ca. The company plans to go public on the TSX Venture exchange in early January.
A Unique Approach to Customer Engagement
The current retail landscape consists primarily of two types of stores: head shops, and Apple store “knockoffs”. In general, the head shops alienate the broader consumer audience, while the Apple store “knockoffs” are undifferentiated and do not educate new cannabis users. Westleaf is betting they can create a substantially different and appealing retail experience, that will draw experienced cannabis users and first-time cannabis users alike.
Westleaf is developing a footprint of retail stores from British Columbia to Ontario, called Prairie Records, which are specifically designed to combine the instinctual connection between recreational cannabis and music to create both an inviting and comforting shopping experience. More than just a brand, Prairie Records will reinvent the cannabis purchasing experience and provide customers with a tangible and unique shopping experience that no other cannabis retailer is able to provide.
Prairie Records’ high quality and sophisticated retail outlets will mimic the design and feel of record stores, where the racks will contain covers very much resembling the dust covers of records. Rather than designing these record covers with art and song/band information, they will contain information about the store’s product names, branding, strains, and THC and CBD content. Consumers can flip through the stacks to find a product that best suits their needs, then take the chosen cover to the counter to purchase the product and receive a smaller sized record cover that acts as a merchandising tool.
The album cover concept allows Prairie Records to operate and excel within the strict regulation of product packaging and merchandising restrictions, enabling consumer recognition of brands. The album covers provide all of the information and branding of a typical consumer product, which allows the customers to more deeply connect with their chosen brands while also becoming educated about cannabis. The stores are organized by moods, helping direct consumers to their desired effect with genres like Lullabies, I Want to Dance with Somebody, and Wake Me Up Before You GoGo.
Prairie Records targets premium locations in privatised retail markets. The company plans to open its first stores in Warman, Saskatchewan and downtown Calgary, Alberta in January 2019. The Calgary location, in the highly-trafficked and historic Palace Theatre, is a prime example of the company’s strategy of developing stores in iconic urban locations, densely populated neighbourhoods, and tourist resort destinations. Prairie Records is currently planning to open 20 to 30 stores across Western Canada by 2020.
Westleaf has assembled a team with a deep background in cannabis operations, retail branding, real estate, and public company capital markets. The team has successfully inked strategic partnerships with Tilray, VIVO Cannabis, and Delta 9 Cannabis, secured favourable debt financing with ATB Financial, and crafted a close partnership with Thunderchild First Nation of Saskatchewan.
These partnerships help to ensure substantial access to high quality supply of products for Westleaf’s imminent retail launch and offer financing for the retail rollout across all markets with privatized cannabis retail frameworks.
“Our core belief is that in many jurisdictions across Canada, Westleaf can curate a unique and engaging customer experience with Prairie Records that will enhance brand loyalty and our growth within the marketplace,” said Scott Hurd, President and CEO of Westleaf. “With a current cash position of over $38 million and strategic partnerships with best-in-class organizations like ATB Financial, Tilray, VIVO Cannabis Inc. and Delta 9, we are well positioned to deliver on our core strategy.”
With many catalysts in the near future, like store openings across Western Canada and Ontario as well as strategic brand partnerships, Westleaf appears primed to stamp its unique retail concept indelibly on the Canadian adult-use market currently in its infancy. Stay tuned for further developments as the company prepares to go public in the next few weeks on the Venture exchange.
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