Wood Island liquor store to close
The liquor store in Wood Islands, where the ferry between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island docks, will not reopen next year, says Tourism Minister Rob Henderson.
The store will likely close as soon as two privately-run stores in nearby communities open their doors, said Henderson.
Of the 19 government-run liquor stores the Wood Islands location is the least profitable. The Liquor Control Commission sets sales targets at the low end of $1 million a year per store, and Henderson said Wood Islands routinely pulls in just half that amount.
The outlet is open seasonally, from May through October.
"We just think the agency store model will work better in that region than a stand-alone," he said.
"It will be the only retail outlet that will be affected by any of these changes. So I'd caution anybody in assuming that agency stores are going to take over all across the Island and put our retail facilities out."
Two casual employees at the Wood Islands store have already been told not to report to work there this summer. Five other employees will be affected by the permanent shutdown.
Opposition leader Olive Crane said closing the liquor store at one of the gateways to P.E.I. will hurt tourism.
"It's another reason why not to stop in Wood Islands," said Crane.
"The human factor in this is here's seven more people that are going to be directly affected."
While the store will not reopen next year, Henderson said the Wood Islands location could close this year if agency stores open up in the Murray River-Murray Harbour and Belfast-Eldon areas.