Mac's Convenience Stores

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Mac's Convenience Stores, Inc.
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Retail (Convenience stores)
Founded Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada (1961)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
Products Mac's Frost drinks
Number of employees
Parent Alimentation Couche-Tard
(Eastern Canada)
(Western Canada)

Mac's Convenience Stores is a chain of convenience stores in Canada. The company is divided into three geographic business units: Eastern Canada, Central Canada and Western Canada. It has been owned and operated by Alimentation Couche-Tard since 1999.


Mac's Milk Limited was incorporated in Ontario on April 4, 1962 by Kenneth (Ken) and Carl McGowen. The name was changed to Mac's Convenience Stores Limited on May 7, 1975. 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.

Southern Ontario Mac's with Gas Station

In 1971, 18 convenience stores operating under the "Little Z Convenience Stores" banner were purchased from Zehrs Markets. In 1974, thirteen Mini-Mart convenience stores in Vancouver were purchased from a subsidiary of the Weston organization. Also in 1974, seven Starlite Variety Stores operating in Windsor were purchased. In 1976, shares of Royal Oak Dairy were purchased by Silverwood Dairies Limited, including operations of convenience stores under the Bantam and Astro names.

In 1994, most Mac's stores in Quebec were sold to Couche-Tard (which bought Mac's in 1999), rebranding Mac's stores in Quebec as 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, Silcorp shares (including the Mac's and Becker's brands), were purchased by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Mac's dropped its longtime cat logo with a cat, and replaced it with Couche-Tard's owl logo.

Mac's retail store in Edmonton, Alberta

In May 2006, Mac's introduced a memorable advertising campaign for their 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 their 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?"

Mac's stores sell Seattle's Best brewed coffee in Western Canada, and A.L. Van Houtte coffee in Quebec, and in Ontario, under the banner name of Sunshine Joe.


The original mascot

The original mascot for Mac's was a cat named MacTavish wearing a Tam o' Shanter and a kilt, holding a jug of milk.[2] Following Mac's acquisition by Couche-Tard In 1999, it was changed to the winking owl named Hibou (seen above), which was the mascot for the Winks chain of convenience stores and gas stations.


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