Washington’s all-time bestselling store is doing even more volume at its sister location
The old adage in real estate is location, location, location, and nowhere is that more important than it is for retail businesses. In the cannabis space, the idea that “weed sells itself” is quickly being replaced by an ultra-competitive business in which every advantage matters, and those companies set up with a location to drive traffic — and handle that flow of customers — are the ones set up for success.
By Brian Beckley, Garrett Rudolph and Patrick Wagner
Main Street Marijuana has maintained its stronghold as one of Washington’s top-selling cannabis retailers with a commitment to customer service and low prices and not just one, but two prime retail locations in Vancouver.
When Washington’s recreational market opened in July 2014, Main Street became the state’s No. 1 shop in sales almost from day one, a position the company would hold for the better part of the next eight years, despite plenty of competition in the Vancouver area. The downtown Vancouver shop is conveniently located just one minute off the I-5 freeway, making it easy to access for residents of Vancouver, Washington’s fourth largest city, as well as people just across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon (Jantzen Beach, a recreation and shopping hotspot in Portland, is just three miles away).
Today, Main Street Marijuana’s downtown location stands alone with more total sales than any other individual shop in Washington — well over $100 million in cannabis revenue — but the company’s East Vancouver location, on 12th Street, has actually supplanted it in terms of daily traffic.
According to head buyer Jake Tafoya, Main Street East averages about 1,600 shoppers per day, while the original shop averages about 1,400.
“They both see a heavy volume of people, and we get traffic and tourism from both sides (of the Columbia River),” he says.
He says the East Vancouver shop also benefits from a great location, plenty of convenient parking, a massive space that makes it one of the largest cannabis shops in Southwestern Washington and the numerous travelers who drive east on Highway 14 toward the abundant recreational opportunities along the Columbia River Gorge.
However, Tafoya believes the company’s success is due more to its aggressive pricing strategy than its locations.
“The great location plays into it, for sure, but I think the secret sauce to having such a strong customer base is that people always feel like they got the best deal possible,” he says. “Our mission statement is that we fight for the customer. We earn our customers’ trust to go out and get the best pricing and the best selection, especially in a time like right now, where every dollar matters to our customers.”