New Brunswick

NB Liquor says criticism of corporate rebranding costs unfounded

NB Liquor (ANBL) is responding to public criticism about the cost of its corporate rebranding package, saying its new logo cost only a fraction of the $444,000 it spent to open a Saint John outlet store last week.

Corporation says new logo cost $18,500, not $444K

NB Liquor's new logo design, unveiled last Friday at the new East Point Shopping Centre store in Saint John, cost $18,500. (CBC)

NB Liquor (ANBL) is responding to public criticism about the cost of its corporate rebranding package, saying its new logo cost only a fraction of the $444,000 it spent to open a Saint John outlet store last week.

"ANBL paid Turner Fleischer $18,500 for the logo design and branding," spokesman ​Mark Barbour stated in an email to CBC News on Tuesday.

Barbour had previously said he was unable to provide a breakdown of the costs involved in the new store, which opened on Friday.

The corporation is still unsure what it will cost to rebrand its entire network with the new image.

CBC News had reported on Monday that ANBL spent $444,000 on a new logo and a fresh new look for the Saint John store, based on a handout provided to​ customers and media ​at the store.

The handout posed the questions: "Why is a new brand necessary? How much did it cost? How much will it cost to activate?"

All NB Liquor outlets will be switching over to the new look, by 2023. (CBC)
The answer printed below those questions stated: "The same architects who designed the store, designed the new brand. Its design, and the production of related signage is part of NB Liquor's investment of $444,000."

​Some customers were critical of the expense.

​On Tuesday, Barbour contacted CBC News with additional details about the costs involved.

"ANBL's financial commitment to the (Saint John) project, including internal fixtures, various equipment and signage, is $444K," he wrote in an email.

Turner Fleisher is a Toronto-based architectural and interior design company with a regional office in Halifax. In addition to the new logo, it was also paid to design the new store's layout.

But Barbour says the majority of the cost at the new outlet was actually for refrigeration units, checkout lanes, fixtures, furniture and other items that would have been required at any new location.

A larger expense than commissioning the new logo will be to expand it throughout the entire system of 44 corporate and 84 agency stores over the next seven years. NB Liquor has said the full cost of that is not yet known.

"We wanted a symbol that was not only visually aligned with the (new) store's other signage but that conveyed the fresh new experience customers could expect in store," states promotional material handed out at the Saint John store's grand opening on Friday.

"At the moment there are no concrete plans to roll-out the brand across the entire corporation. Instead we will develop a phased approach that is cost-effective and focused on our new and renovated stores."

NB Liquor says updating its image and redesigning stores helps to "enhance customer's experience and promote sales."

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