North

Yellowknife has some of N.W.T.'s highest liquor prices

Liquor prices in Yellowknife are some of the highest in the territory, despite having lower transportation costs and competition between 2 private liquor stores.

Liquor commission stopped setting city's prices when second store opened

Smirnoff vodka (750 ml)

Wholesale: $30.54

YK Liquor store: $38.15

YK Liquor shop: $38.00

Norman Wells: $33.87

Inuvik: $33.50

Fort Simpson: $33.44

Fort Smith: $33.30

Hay River: $32.99

Two Oceans white wine (750 ml)

Wholesale: $11.56

YK Liquor shop: $15.79

YK Liquor store: $15.20

Norman Wells: $14.36

Inuvik: $13.99

Fort Simpson: $13.95

Fort Smith: $13.81

Hay River: $13.49

 

12 bottles Budweiser

Wholesale: $20.30

Norman Wells: $31.90

Inuvik: $29.80

Fort Simpson: $29.39

YK Liquor shop: $28.65

Fort Smith: $28.62

YK Liquor store: $27.65

Hay River: $26.78

Liquor prices in Yellowknife are some of the highest in the territory, despite being the only N.W.T. community with more than one liquor store.

CBC did a price study focused on three items: 12 bottles of beer, a 750 ml bottle of vodka, and a 750 ml bottle of white wine.

It found the two stores in Yellowknife charged the highest prices for everything except the beer.

The liquor stores in the smaller communities are also privately owned.  However the territory’s liquor commission sets their prices.

"The formula passes on the costs of the product, the transportation cost to the community and the cost of the warehouse and retail operations in the community plus the GNWT markup," said Kyle Reid with the N.W.T. Liquor Commission.

When a second liquor store opened in Yellowknife in 2002, the liquor commission decided to let the city’s stores set their own prices, with the idea that competition would keep prices down.

That's not happening.

When asked for an interview, a liquor store manager in Yellowknife declined but said the system in place is "not a level playing field."

The contracts for the Yellowknife stores are up next August.

The liquor commission said the pricing structure could be changed at that time.

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