Board Chair Message
The NSLC has a reputation as a committed corporate citizen that provides exceptional customer service, so I was honoured to be appointed Board Chair in September. I joined the NSLC just as the organization was about to undergo the biggest transition in its nearly 90-year history as it was appointed the sole retailer of recreational cannabis. I am eager to join my fellow Board members in providing strategic guidance and support through these exciting times.
This year, the NSLC team continued its focus on enhancing the shopping experience for our customers. The NSLC is doing that by renovating and building new stores, supporting local producers, building employee education and enhancing responsible retailing. This was all part of an effort to provide the best experience possible for our valued customers and a strong return to the Province.
More than half a million customers came through the doors of our stores last year, which amounted to 17 million transactions a year. More importantly, it meant millions of interactions with our customers – the focus of everything we do. The NSLC places a high priority on providing a superb and personalized shopping experience and that is evident in the fact more than 90% of customers gave us top marks for customer service this year.
This success reflects the talent, expertise and experience of the trusted teams we have in place across the NSLC. Thanks to our people, our Board and management team can provide great customer service, executed through the lens of responsible fiscal management.
We are midway through our Five-Year Strategic Plan and our growth and that of the local beverage alcohol industry shows our strategic focus is working. The NSLC is the top single source of provincial revenue for the Province of Nova Scotia after income taxes and GST with every penny of profits returned to our Shareholder to fund key public services. We delivered a strong return of $238.6 million to the Province this year.
Our success this fiscal year was driven by several key factors including diligent oversight and control of expenses, investing millions to refresh and add to our store network, providing counsel and direct financial support to local producers, and offering our customers value in all product categories. I am pleased to report the average dollar value of each purchase grew by 1.9% and we experienced a $13.8 million increase in sales because of these efforts.
The 2018-2019 Fiscal Year is shaping up to be a milestone year for the NSLC as we embrace our new mandate to offer cannabis for recreational use when it becomes legalized in October 2018. We will pursue this new mandate by doing what we do best – putting the customer first.
We have 1400 people across this province working hard every day to deliver on our mandate. I cannot say it enough: our people are the driving force behind our achievements. Thank you to each of you for your energy and for your contributions to the NSLC’s success.