Mac's Convenience Stores

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Mac's Convenience Stores, Inc.
Formerly
Mac's Milk (1961–1975)
Subsidiary
Founded 1961 (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada)
Defunct 2019
Number of locations
5,906
Website www.macs.ca (east)
www.mymacs.ca (west)

Mac's Convenience Stores (commonly known as Mac's) was a chain of convenience stores in Canada. The company was divided into three geographic business units: Eastern Canada, Central Canada, and Western Canada. It had been owned and operated by Alimentation Couche-Tard since 1999. Since 2017, it had served as one of Couche-Tard's two main banners in English-speaking Canada, alongside Circle K.

History

Mac's with gas station in Woodstock, Ontario

Kenneth (Ken) and Carl McGowen incorporated Mac's Milk Limited in Ontario on April 4, 1962. On July 5, 1963, Silverwood Dairies Limited acquired 40% of the shares of Mac's Milk Limited, and increased its holding to 80% on March 29, 1968, and 100% on January 12, 1972.

In 1971, the company purchased 18 convenience stores operating under the "Little Z Convenience Stores" banner from Zehrs Markets. In 1974, it bought thirteen Mini-Mart convenience stores in Vancouver from a subsidiary of George Weston Limited and seven Starlite Variety Stores operating in Windsor, Ontario.

One of the few remaining Mac's stores in Vancouver, British Columbia in May 2019

The company was renamed "Mac's Convenience Stores Limited" on May 7, 1975. In 1976, Silverwood Dairies Limited purchased shares of Royal Oak Dairy, including operations of convenience stores under the Bantam and Astro names.

In 1994, the company sold most of the Mac's stores in Quebec to Alimentation Couche-Tard Ltd. Mac's stores in Quebec were renamed "Dépan-Escompte Couche-Tard". Silcorp, the parent company of Mac's, acquired 163 Southern Ontario stores, and assets of rival Becker's in November 1996. On April 14, 1999, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. purchased Silcorp (including the Mac's and Becker's chains). Mac's dropped its longtime cat logo, and replaced it with Couche-Tard's owl logo.

On September 23, 2015, Alimentation Couche-Tard announced that as part of a global re-branding, all Mac's stores would be converted to Couche-Tard's Circle K banner; the Canadian renaming began in May 2017.[1][2]

Marketing

The original mascot

The original mascot for Mac's was a cat named MacTavish (seen below), wearing a Tam o' shanter and a kilt, holding a jug of milk. Following Mac's acquisition by Couche-Tard in 1999, it was changed to the winking owl named Hibou, which was the mascot for Couche-Tard's convenience stores and gas stations in Quebec.

In May 2006, Mac's introduced a memorable advertising campaign for its Froster beverage. The campaign centred on the Whack flavour and used double entendres involving the word, such as "I think I could have a Whack every day if I could", and humorously censored "Whack" in the commercials.

In May 2007, Mac's introduced a controversial advertising campaign for its new WTF Froster beverage. Targeting primarily net savvy teenage boys, the campaign included posters and a series of viral internet video ads. The controversy stemmed from the use of the WTF internet slang acronym ("what the fuck"), a poster of a nun and goat bowing in the presence of a cup of WTF and video ads portraying sexual innuendo and bizarre or questionable conduct. In response Mac's pulled the more controversial ads and has stated that it intended WTF to refer to "What's the flavour?"

References

  1. ^ "Mac's stores to be renamed Circle K, says owner Couche-Tard". CBC News. September 22, 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Circle K Transformation Goes Beyond Rebranding". CSPNet. Retrieved 25 September 2015.

External links

  • Mac's – Eastern Canada official website (archived)
  • Mac's – Western Canada official website (archived)
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