Saturday, February 11th, will be the last time that customers will be able to purchase liquor from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) retail store in Weyburn.

The SLGA retail store is closing its doors, after the Government of Saskatchewan announced in October of last year that they were transitioning liquor retail stores to the private sector this year.

Discover Weyburn requested an interview with the SLGA, but they declined to comment.

Lori Carr, Minister responsible for SLGA, spoke with reporters in October of last year at a media event regarding the plan to exit liquor retailing, and cited year over year declines in net revenue at SLGA retail, as the reason for the move to the private sector.

Actual closing dates for different retail stores in the province will vary, with all stores in the province being closed by March 31st of this year.

As of February 6th of this year, the retail store permits are out for tender via a public online auction process. The online auction is for permits only and does not include buildings, fixtures, or inventory in the sale.

The Government of Saskatchewan said the value of the permits will depend on the interest shown by individuals and businesses in each community.

Carr said that they anticipate that all 34 permits will be sold, with the same number of stores still being in operation in the private sector, and she would assume the same number of employees would be required to run those stores.

She added that "they will work very closely with the unions, there will be a workforce adjustment plan, and everybody will have the opportunity to get that severance package at the end of the day."

Carr said that they are laying off 284 full-time equivalents, and that "it's always hard when people are transitioning from what they're used to into something new, unfortunately the model of retail liquor is just not feasible anymore for the Province of Saskatchewan and so we're moving forward with divesting of that."