Mac's Seeks to Sell Beer, Wine & Spirits, Create Jobs

Chain says it would hire 1,600 more people if Ontario c-stores could sell alcohol

Published in CSP Daily News

TORONTO, Ont. -- Mac's Convenience Stores would create 1,600 new, full-time jobs if it could sell beer, wine and spirits at its 547 Ontario convenience stores, the company said.

"We want to provide good-paying jobs for hard-working people right across the province," said Tom Moher, vice president of operations for Mac's in Ontario. "And of course, we want to provide our valued customers with a one-stop shopping experience. They're continually telling us that they want to be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits at Mac's."

The employment estimate by Mac's comes shortly after the release of a study, commissioned by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), which found that the government of Ontario would benefit from increased revenues if alcohol was permitted for sale in c-stores across the province.

An earlier survey by the OCSA found that 67% of Ontarians want to be able to purchase alcohol at their local c-store.

"The people of Ontario are telling their politicians that it's time to modernize alcohol retailing in this province," said Moher, who added that sales at stores that sell alcohol are significantly higher--requiring more staff to handle the demand.

"Many of our stores are in rural Ontario, which needs jobs. We want to provide them," he said.

He said Mac's wants to be part of an expanded alcohol retailing system that not only creates employment and generates additional revenue for the Ontario government, but that saves the government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) money.

"We in the private sector can build facilities for the sale of beer, wine and spirits," said Moher, "versus taxpayer investment in bricks and mortar."

He pointed to the Mac's c-store in Thamesford, one of two Mac's "agency" stores in Ontario that are permitted to sell alcohol, as an example. The Thamesford store opened in Dec. 2012, at a cost of $3 million.

The other Mac's store permitted to sell beer, wine and spirits is located in Craigleith.

Moher said he foresees the day when Mac's outlets throughout Ontario sell alcohol products; he emphasizes that the company wants to build stores like Thamesford across the province.

"We're experienced, responsible retailers of alcohol throughout Canada, the United States and the world," said Moher. "We're proud of our record, and our contributions to the communities we serve."

Currently, the company's CT division operates 665 corporate stores in Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which can sell beer.

The company also sells beer at 3,000 stores in the United States, and 1,400 in Europe.

Mac's Convenience Stores Inc. is part of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which  operates a network of 5,906 convenience stores, 4,128 of which dispense motor fuel, located in 11 large geographic markets, including eight in the United States (under the Circle K banner) covering 43 states, and three in Canada (under the Mac's and Couche-Tard banners) covering all 10 provinces. Couche-Tard is a publicly traded Canadian company with annual revenues of more than $15.9-billion