HALIFAX: The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is looking for new locations for two stores, with plans to put a new outlet in the region.

NSLC communications advisor Beverley Ware told The Reporter last week that they are looking for new sites for its stores in St. Peter’s and Inverness, and are continuing with plans to establish an outlet in Auld’s Cove.

“Some of our existing assets don’t fit our needs in their particular market – they may be too small, for example, or have limited parking, a poor location, or are in poor condition,” Ware said via e-mail on March 5.

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“The stores in St. Peter’s, Cheticamp, Inverness are part of an intentional effort to revitalize our rural store network.”

Ware said the review of its network includes operating and facility costs, and location and accessibility.

“In instances such as St. Peter’s, where the cost to upgrade and maintain our current assets is too high, we find that leasing space is more cost-effective in the long run,” Ware said.

“The store in Inverness no longer meets the evolving needs of the community or of the NSLC. It would take significant investment to bring the building up to the specifications required so we are currently looking at what other options may be available to us.”

In late December, the NSLC issued a request for proposals “to qualified landlords to submit proposals for the location of a retail space within the area bound along Highway 104 from [the] intersection with Highway 4 to the Canso Causeway to serve the community of Auld’s Cove.”

The RFP states the NSLC is looking for a building with around 3,400 square foot of retail space with the preferred range of dimensions at 41 feet wide by 80 feet deep to 54 feet wide by 60 feet deep, with a dock level loading bay preferred for receiving product.

Jim Davis, CAO for the Town of Mulgrave, said there are concerns that if a liquor store goes up in Auld’s Cove, it will negatively affect the NSLC store in Mulgrave. Town officials met with Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA Lloyd Hines to express worries about sales in Mulgrave decreasing enough to close that outlet.

Ware responded that the NSLC has “no plans to close the Mulgrave store.”

“Opening a new store in Auld’s Cove is a great opportunity to expand the NSLC’s operations,” Ware added. “This location will provide the ideal opportunity to provide tourists and residents alike with local products in a new, modern and inviting store at the gateway to Cape Breton Island.”