A wholly owned subsidiary of Calgary Co-op has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares of Willow Park Wines & Spirits and certain subsidiaries, with the transaction expected to close sometime in early 2023. The definitive agreement is expected to include two Calgary locations (in Willow Park and Eau Claire), a Regina location and the business-to-business sales (B2B) and distribution centers in Calgary, Edmonton and Regina.
Willow Park Wines & Spirits was established in 1994 by the Henuset family, growing as a Calgary-based, family-owned business in the retail, B2B and wholesale sector. Part of Willow Park's succession plan was to seek a buyer with mutual values, a focus on customer service and a local presence.
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Said Scott Henuset, outgoing owner of Willow Park Spirits & Wines: “We have found a great partner, and we are thrilled that the business will continue to be locally owned. Through this acquisition, Willow Park Wines & Spirits will continue to grow as a brand in its key markets.”
After the closing of the acquisition, Calgary Co-op plans to keep Willow Park Wines & Spirits as a wholly owned subsidiary of Calgary Co-op, meaning that it will be operated as a separate entity. As such, purchases at Willow Park Wines & Spirits will not apply to Calgary Co-op patronage. Willow Park Wines & Spirits will also continue to maintain its current loyalty program.
“The acquisition of Willow Park Wines & Spirits demonstrates our ongoing investment in the community and our business,” said Ken Keelor, CEO of Calgary Co-op. “This represents the coming together of two longtime community-focused Calgary retailers with deep roots in the Calgary community. We look forward to building on the strong legacy of the Willow Park brand. We are committed to the Willow Park Wines & Spirits team, and we will learn from them to create new opportunities together.”
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail cooperatives in North America. The company has more than 400,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of CAD $627 million and annual sales of CAD $1.2 billion. Locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore, Alberta, include food centers; pharmacies; gas stations; car washes; home health care centers; wine, spirits and beer locations; and cannabis.
Last November, Calgary Co-op unveiled its rebranding from Co-op to Calgary Co-op across all of its lines of business. The co-op also introduced a new visual identity for all locations.