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Alcanna Inc.

TSX Exchange | May 25, 2020, 3:52 AM EDT | Real-time price

CLIQ $ 2.50 RT
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Alcanna Provides COVID-19 Update; Postpones AGM

EDMONTON, Alberta, April 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alcanna Inc. (the “Company” or “Alcanna”) (TSX: CLIQ) today provided an update on the impact of the recent novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic on its business and operations.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Alcanna’s top priority is the health and safety of our team members and our customers. Alberta, BC and Alaska have all declared liquor and cannabis retail to be essential services and the Company’s 283 stores in those markets remain open (the Company’s Nova Cannabis store on Queen Street West in Toronto is now operating on a click-and-collect format only as per Ontario rules effective April 4, 2020).

Being an essential service comes with the responsibility to be leaders in compliance of all physical distancing, hygiene and sanitization practices. Alcanna has implemented comprehensive measures in all of its stores to ensure the health and safety of its customers and team members including: 

  • Store hours have been reduced in all regions to allow team members time to complete the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and have additional personal time to rest and recover.
  • All stores are following enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols and have installed plexiglass shields at check-out tills.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at all stores for team members and at higher volume stores for customers.
  • Gloves are provided for all team members who wish to wear them, and masks for all team members have been ordered and are scheduled to be delivered to stores in the next few weeks.
  • Physical distancing is enforced by signage and floor markers.
  • Team members and customers exhibiting any symptoms are not permitted in stores.
  • All Alcanna team members are subject to mandatory self-isolation, travel restrictions and screening in accordance with provincial and in the case of Alaska, federal, health guidance. 
  • The Company has implemented a COVID-19 hotline for its team members and an incident reporting protocol to identify, track and respond to potential health concerns.
  • On March 24, 2020 the Company instituted a $3 per hour COVID-19 pay bonus for all store level team members retroactive to March 8, 2020.
  • In certain high-volume, large format locations, where overcrowding could otherwise be an issue, the Company has limited occupancy at peak times and provided directional arrows and one-way aisles to guide the flow of customers.

A full list of measures taken by the Company to ensure the safety of its customers and team members can be found on the Company's website at alcanna.com/COVID-19

BUSINESS UPDATE

Alcanna’s liquor and cannabis stores in all regions experienced sales significantly higher than normal during the last three weeks of March. This elevated demand subsided once customers were assured by provincial and state governments that liquor and cannabis stores were being classified as essential services and would remain open. 

While the Company’s operations have not been materially impacted to date, the situation surrounding COVID-19 remains fluid and there are obvious risks for all businesses associated with the pandemic - which the Company shares. The Company continues to work closely with customers, government officials, team members and business partners to respond to the ever-changing situation. To date, supply of products remains unaffected by COVID-19 as distillers, wineries, brewers and cannabis licensed producers have also been declared essential services. Despite many team members self-isolating for 10-14 days, the Company has a full complement of team members working in stores and has received over 500 applications for employment in recent weeks.

The Company is focused on protecting its balance sheet in response to this uncertainty. Inventory levels have been carefully reduced and the capital expenditure plans for 2020 as outlined in the Company’s Management Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2019 dated March 11, 2020 have been temporarily suspended. The timing of each project will be re-assessed in the context of the COVID-19 situation. The Company has sufficient capital and credit availability to finance operating requirements and for general corporate purposes.  

ANNUAL AND SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

Due to public health restrictions on mass gatherings and in order to protect the health and safety of Alcanna's shareholders, team members and guests, Alcanna has decided to postpone its annual and special meeting of shareholders to a later date; currently expected to be on or about June 25, 2020.  Alcanna will provide notice in accordance with applicable laws, of the revised meeting date, time, location and any special procedures to be undertaken. 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release contains forward-looking statements or information (collectively "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “continue”, “anticipate”, "will", "should", “plan”, “intention”, and similar words suggesting future events or future performance. All statements and information other than statements of historical fact contained in this news release are forward-looking statements. In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to the impact that COVID-19 may have on the Company’s operations and sales, growth and capital expenditures plans, and capital and credit availability. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this news release, the Company has made assumptions regarding, among other things: the severity of COVID-19; the duration of the pandemic; governmental, business or other actions which could include limit our operations or mandates to provide products or services; our suppliers ability to meet customer demand; the health of our workforce; the ability to continue to attract new employees to meet staffing needs in our stores, distribution facility and other critical functions; the outlook for global economic conditions and volatility in the credit and financial markets; consumer spending; and the impact that COVID-19 will have on our customers, vendors, suppliers, and other business partners.

Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements, and the assumptions on which such forward-looking statements are made, are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to be correct. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements included in this news release. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual performance and financial results to differ materially from any estimates, forecasts or projections.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof. Except as expressly required by applicable securities legislation, Alcanna does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

ABOUT ALCANNA INC.

Alcanna is one of the largest private sector retailers of alcohol in North America and the largest in Canada by number of stores – operating 253 locations in Alberta, British Columbia and Alaska. The Company also operates 31 cannabis retail stores under the “Nova Cannabis” brand, with thirty locations in the Province of Alberta and one in the Province of Ontario. With revenues in excess of $800 million per year, Alcanna processes over 20 million individual retail transactions of beverage alcohol and cannabis.

Alcanna's common shares and convertible subordinated debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols "CLIQ" and "CLIQ.DB", respectively.

Additional information about Alcanna Inc. is available at www.sedar.com and the Company’s website at www.alcanna.com.

For Further Information

James Burns
Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Alcanna Inc.
(587) 460-1026
james.burns@alcanna.com 

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