This month, we’re celebrating colour, texture and custom-made lighting as we showcase Ontario cannabis retailers who are building their brands and bringing their shops to life with novel and modern design choices.
Drawing inspiration from the grocers, corner stores and diners that sustain urban communities, Superette in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood is designed to be lively and surprising. Its name, another word for corner store, is what inspired Superette’s cheery and colourful design scheme. Take a seat at the counter or browse the cannabis-stocked “deli cases” in this bright, comfortable space designed to conjure your favourite bodega. Shop the “fresh flower wall” and open the custom fridge, where you’ll find accessories and apparel instead of perishable goods. This store is designed to delight. “We want customers to pick their own adventure as they navigate the shop. Our retail design encourages organic discovery,” says chief brand officer Drummond Munro.
And while the shop’s aesthetic is sure to inspire selfies, its flow is designed to do more than just please the eye. There’s a space to hang your coat before you hang with your local budtender. And you won’t see cannabis accessories in locked display cases — Superette customers can touch, handle and examine the products to get a feel for them. “Customers understand that cannabis selection from store to store may be similar,” says Munro. “Going beyond flower products is vital in creating a memorable experience for all customers.”
Alchemy Canna Co., Toronto
Alchemy Canna Co. is truly a store transformed. Taking a forward-leaning approach to keep pace with the times, the owners of this shop are thinking beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar storefront and have temporarily housed their product in Ontario’s first licensed cannabis container. Created by POPCANN, a global leader in experiential environments, Alchemy’s current location is built within the frame of a traditional shipping container. While Alchemy waits for its flagship store, designed by Paolo Ferrari, to be completed, this temporary home has allowed the retailer to open its doors in style, providing a one-of-a-kind customer journey.
This shop rejects the ordinary in favour of the elevated. It may appear dark and mysterious on the outside, but it’s filled with light and colour — and bright, engaging employees who offer customers a range of expertise. “Our employees come from all sectors, including health care, athletics and the legacy retail industry,” says CEO Richard Brown.
Alchemy uses POCANN’s experiential mapping technology, which includes touch screens, digital signage and augmented reality, to create an immersive customer experience. With top-selling Canadian cannabis products and accessories on display, this small but mighty store makes for an interesting trip.
Sessions Cannabis Red Hill, Stoney Creek
With locations in Collingwood, Toronto and Cambridge, and 30 more on the way, Sessions Cannabis in Stoney Creek uses design to enhance its role as a community-focused, inclusive brand. Look up and take in the ceiling lights shaped to echo the rings in the shop’s logo. Scan the room to view a gallery of local imagery, including a large-scale photo of one of Hamilton’s natural waterfalls.
Using simple, clean and inviting design, this store welcomes everyone from seasoned customers to the canna-curious and invites them to explore. “Customers should be able to easily find their way to the products they are looking for as soon as they walk in,” says co-founder and CEO Steven Fry.
Shoppers can view products on the sales floor, and this see-before-you-buy design feature provides a visual and informative experience. The easy-to-navigate space includes high-contrast signage and lighting to create an uncomplicated and laid-back vibe. “We truly want our customers to feel as though their next session starts at a Sessions Cannabis shop. [We’re] like the friend you love hanging out with because being with them is simply easy,” says Fry.