New 10,000-square-foot Liquor Mart will offer 500 more products when finished in summer of 2019

Thompson’s new Liquor Mart at the corner of Mystery Lake Road and Thompson Drive North will be complete by the end of next summer and be about 25 per cent larger than the current location, says a spokesperson for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MBLL).

The new store will be about 10,000 square feet, more in line with the size of similarly busy Liquor Marts elsewhere in the province, and about 2,000 square feet larger that the current location.

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“The Thompson Liquor Mart is currently one of our busiest stores,” said MBLL communications officer Laurel Trotter recently, in response to inquiries made in August. “With the larger location we’ll be able to feature even more new products on the shelves (approximately 500 more listings than the existing store).”

Whether that will translate into more workers – Liquor Mart currently has four full-time employees and 11 to 15 part-time workers, depending on the season – isn’t yet known.

“Any additional staffing needs will be dictated by overall store traffic – but we’ll likely add a few new members to the team when the location opens,” Trotter said. “We often do seasonal hiring in the summer and late fall for our busiest seasons so there may also be opportunities at that time.”

The Thompson Citizen also inquired about who the design and construction tenders were awarded to and how much the new store would cost, but MBLL said it was unable to release the details of the procurement contract yet.

In 2016, MBLL representatives said the current store, built in 1975, serves about 200,000 customers a year and that stores with a similar sales volume were usually 10,000 square feet or more.

The current Liquor Mart receives about 40,000 pounds of freight per week, which has to be moved from storage areas in the basement to the sales floor upstairs.

The cost of the project was estimated to be about $5 million when it was first made public in 2016 and MBLL said it expected that building the new store, which it said would be required to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard certification and exceed the 2011 National Energy Code for buildings under provincial government regulations, would create the equivalent of about 10 full-time construction jobs for a period of one year.

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