Renovations planned for Oak Tree liquor store in Charlottetown

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission's flagship store will be closing its doors temporarily for renovations. 

Oak Tree Place in Charlottetown, the province's largest liquor store, will be closed for about 14 weeks beginning in February, said Jamie MacLeod, acting CEO of the commission. 

"It'd be some 20 years ago since the store last underwent any type of significant renovation," MacLeod said. 

He said the commission keeps tabs annually on which of its stores are in need of renovation and the Oak Tree Place store was next on the list. 

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"There'll be some significant changes to the store," he said.

That includes a bigger walk-in cooler, expanding the wine section, a new tasting station and new shelving.

Increasing capacity for stock

In addition, the store's office will be relocated, new flooring will be installed along with a new ceiling, MacLeod said. 

MacLeod said the commission currently sells approximately 2,200 varieties of liquor products and the Oak Tree Place store carries about 1,800 of them. 

He said the store has sales that top $16 million per year. 

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With the renovations, he said the store will be in a position to carry all of the commission's liquor portfolio at any given time. 

"We hope our specialty liquor store down at the water at Founders Hall will be opening during the Oak Tree renovation period," he said. 

"So that may take some of the pressure off."

Parking lot to remain

While renovations will be extensive to the store, he said the parking lot will not be changing.

Because of its popularity, congestion in the parking lot will always be a bit of an issue. For now, he said there are no plans for work on the parking lot. 

MacLeod said he expects the renovations will have a price tag of about $800,000. 

He noted there will not be any job loss during renovations. While the work takes place, employees will be dispersed to other locations. 

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Anita O'Connor, the commission's district manager, said as renovations take place, employees from the Oak Tree location will be transferred to other stores.

She said staff are eager to see the changes. 

"I'm really excited and all the staff are excited and looking forward to it. It's going to be great for customers to find all the products that they're interested in and ... our local products, we'll be able to promote those more," O'Connor said. 

"It's long overdue." 

She noted that other Charlottetown locations will have extended hours to help with the potential influx of customers.  

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