Released on October 27, 2022
The Government of Saskatchewan will complete the transition of liquor retailing to the private sector in 2023.
"With year over year declines in net revenue at SLGA retail, our government has made the decision to get out of the business of selling liquor," Minister Responsible for SLGA Lori Carr said. "We believe now is the time to complete the transition to the private sector to free up financial resources for other priorities and to mitigate future losses."
In 2018-19, profits were $9.4 million and in 2021-22, profits declined to $3.2 million. SLGA Retail's projected net income for 2022-23 is $395,000. In order to maintain profitability, many of SLGA's current stores need to be relocated or physically adapted to better meet customer needs, at a significant cost to taxpayers with no guarantee of recouping those costs.
Actual closing dates for stores will vary, with all stores being closed by March 31, 2023. Physical assets, including 19 buildings owned by SLGA, fixtures and equipment will be sold in a separate process. SLGA will work with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) to negotiate a workforce adjustment plan for affected employees.
The retail store permits associated with the 34 stores will be sold via a public online auction process beginning in early 2023. As per usual process, successful bidders must still qualify to hold a commercial liquor permit. Additional details about the auction process will be available later this year.
Today's announcement will not impact SLGA's Distribution Centre. SLGA will continue to operate as the wholesaler of beverage alcohol for the province as well as the regulator of liquor, gaming and cannabis.
For more information, contact:
Executive Council and Office of the Premier