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Aurora Cannabis Goes Big With Flagship Store Opening

By Eric Volkman - Nov 27, 2019 at 10:57PM

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The company opens a sizable retail space in North America's largest shopping mall.

Say this for high-profile marijuana stock Aurora Cannabis ( ACB -5.21% ) -- it's thinking big these days. On Wednesday the company opened its new flagship retail operation -- bluntly named The Aurora Cannabis Store -- in the largest shopping mall in North America.

The store, located in the West Edmonton Mall in the namesake Canadian city -- which also happens to be the location of Aurora's headquarters -- is a sleek black-and-white outlet showcasing the many products Aurora produces and carries. This includes not only cannabis offerings, but also accessories, clothing, and even literature.

Interior of The Aurora Cannabis Store

Image source: Aurora Cannabis.

The store covers roughly 11,000 square feet of space, blending a retail operation with what Aurora has titled the Flagship Experience Centre.

This "immersive experiential space," as the company describes it, will feature special events, art exhibits, and exclusive merchandise. This section is aimed at "encouraging visitors from around the world to explore unique products and participate in a rotating calendar of programming and events."

The company did not provide information on the costs of building The Aurora Cannabis Store. Judging by the provided photos, details in the press release announcing its opening and video footage, it had a considerable budget. Illumination from above is provided by a digital skylight, and Edmonton's location in the vicinity of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is referenced in some of the construction materials, including quartz and oak.

Aurora's cash burn is a concern, as the company has typically been unprofitable and at times has spent significant amounts of capital.

Recently, it got something of a reprieve when nearly all of the holders of its $230 million Canadian ($173 million) worth of convertible debentures elected to convert these securities into stock. Although this dilutes existing shareholders, it saves Aurora from having to pay back what essentially began as a loan from investors.  

As with the costs for The Aurora Cannabis Store, the company did not provide financial estimates for the outlet's revenue. It did emphasize that it is the mall's exclusive cannabis retailer, although it did not speculate on how many of the mall's 30 million-plus visitors annually might pop by for some marijuana bud or a cannabis-themed T-shirt.

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