Cross-border beer battle impacting N.S. businesses
Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017 8:08PM ADT
The low price of suds in New Brunswick is hurting the bottom line of businesses on the Nova Scotia side of the flags.
Some 24 packs of domestic beer are being sold for $36 in New Brunswick. That's about $7 less than in Amherst. With the drive from Amherst, to Aulac, N.B., taking only about seven minutes, the trip is proving to be well worth it.
New Brunswick started the promotion last summer and made it permanent in June. But as sales soar in New Brunswick, the spin-off is being felt in Amherst.
“We feel the potential for the loss of revenue locally is significant and it bothers us that it's so much cheaper to get beer across the border,” says Amherst Mayor David Kogan.
Mayor Kogon says he's had discussions with the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission about pricing. He says he's been assured the NSLC is looking into it, but was told they could not enter a price war with their neighbours.
“They were a little surprised with just how New Brunswick can do what they're doing,” Mayor Kogan says. “What they explained to me was that the cost to Nova Scotia Liquor Commission to match what they're doing in New Brunswick could amount to as much as $12 million in profits.”
Lower beer prices aren't the only savings people are tapping into in Aulac. Gas is also three to four cents cheaper in New Brunswick.
“My fiancé works in New Brunswick, so I'll ask him on Thursdays is gas going down or up,” says Amherst resident Jessica Wheaton. “If it's cheaper in New Brunswick then I'll get it in New Brunswick.”
As for the beer battle, Mayor Kogon says the NSLC is discussing some promotions to boost sales. He hopes it works and keeps local dollars from crossing the border.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.