Convenience Stores

About 10% of all the small convenience stores across Canada closed last year. A majority of the closures were due to falling sales of cigarettes.

The first thought I had on reading about this issue in the Globe and Mail is that it is a sad thing that stores live or die due to the unhealthy habits of our society. Think about that carefully. An industry that is situated right in your local area, in everyone’s neighbourhood, that relies heavily on a cancer inducing product.

Secondly, the news does not necessarily mean that less people are smoking. The sale of black market smokes continues to rise. It is estimated that 50% of all cigarette sales in Ontario are black market. In Quebec the number is 40%. I do not have actual data, but I would guess that most of these illegal sales are via native groups.

Take a drive down the major roadways in the area of Caledonia Ontario and you will see a number of “smoke shacks” along the way. Stop at any of them and save yourself a bundle on smokes. What is interesting, and sad, is that these smoke shacks are illegal. They are right out in the open, and illegal. The powers to be in our great country seem to be doing nothing, except charging a customer now and then. Not the sellers; the customers.

If the government really wanted to do so, they could stop a lot of this illegal trafficking. Push purchases back to the legal avenues and watch tax revenues increase. They choose to do very little due to the powder keg that is involved in Aboriginal Affairs.

In the meantime, the mom-and-pop stores continue to fail.

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