Mac's Convenience Stores

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Mac's Convenience Stores, Inc.
Industry Retail (Convenience stores)
Founded Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada (1961)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
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 and has been owned and operated by Alimentation Couche-Tard since 1999.


Kenneth (Ken) and Carl McGowen incorporated Mac's Milk Limited in Ontario on April 4, 1962. The company rebranded its stores 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
Mac's in Toronto

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 the Weston organization and seven Starlite Variety Stores operating in Windsor. 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 Mac's stores in Quebec to Couche-Tard (which later 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, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. purchased Silcorp (including the Mac's and Becker's brands). Mac's dropped its longtime cat logo, 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 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?"

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.

On September 23, 2015, Alimentation Couche-Tard announced that as part of a global re-branding, all Mac's stores would be re-branded as Circle K; the Canadian re-branding will begin in May 2017.[2][3]

On December 18, 2015, two convenience store clerks at two different Mac's stores in Edmonton were murdered.[1]


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. 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.


  1. ^ "About Mac's Convenience Stores". Mac's. Retrieved 2014-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Mac's stores to be renamed Circle K, says owner Couche-Tard". CBC News. September 22, 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Circle K Transformation Goes Beyond Rebranding". CSPNet. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 

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