Mac's Makes a Promise

Will build 27 new stores in Ontario … if they are permitted to sell beer, wine, spirits

Published in CSP Daily News

TORONTO -- Within two years of being granted the right to sell beer, wine and spirits at its 547 Ontario stores, Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. will build 27 new, ultra-modern, $2-million stores across the province, it said.

Mac's senior executive Tom Moher made the promise during a speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

The new stores represent "$54 million of new, private investment in Ontario," said Moher, the company's vice president of operations for Central Canada. "And that doesn't begin to include the millions of dollars Mac's will spend retrofitting our current stores for the sale of alcohol."

The new Mac's stores would be built in Toronto, Brampton, Grey Bruce, The Muskokas, London and Ottawa, among other locations. They would create up to 170 new, full-time jobs, in addition to the 1,600 jobs that would be created at existing Mac's stores once they receive the right to sell alcohol.

Mac's and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) are calling on the government of Ontario to expand what they call the province's "antiquated, unfair" alcohol retailing system. A survey by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association found that 67% of Ontarians want to be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits at their local convenience store.

"Basically, the people of Ontario are telling their politicians that it's time to modernize alcohol retailing in this province," Moher told the audience. "Some of our politicians get it. Others … not so much. That's why Mac's is making this such a public issue."

The Mac's stores to be built under an expanded alcohol retailing system would be similar to the company's retail facility in Thamesford, one of two Mac's agency stores in the province permitted to sell alcohol. The Thamesford store opened in Dec. 2012 at a cost of $3 million. (The other Mac's agency store is located in Craigleith.)

"Mac's is an experienced, responsible retailer of alcohol throughout Canada, the United States and the world," said Moher. "We're proud of our record. We're proud of our contribution to the communities we serve."

Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. is part of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard's network currently includes approximately 6,200 c-stores throughout North America, including approximately 4,500 stores with fuel. Its North American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States covering 40 states and the District of Columbia (under the Circle K banner) and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces (under the Couche-Tard and Mac's banners). Through its acquisition of Statoil, Couche-Tard also operates a retail network across Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Poland, the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Russia. It has 1,941 stores in Canada. Couche-Tard is a publicly traded Canadian company with annual revenues of $37 billion.