Mac's Convenience Stores

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Mac's Convenience Stores, Inc.
Mac's Milk (1961–1975)
FoundedRichmond Hill, Ontario, Canada (1961)
Number of locations
(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.

Since 2017, it has served as one of Couche-Tard's two main banners in English-speaking Canada, alongside Circle K.


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.

Woodstock, Ontario Mac's with gas station (gas has since been removed at this location)
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 George Weston Limited and seven Starlite Variety Stores operating in Windsor, Ontario.

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.

Mac's retail store in Edmonton, Alberta

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 will begin in May 2017.[1][2]


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.

The original mascot

The original mascot for Mac's was a cat named MacTavish (seen above), 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.


  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.

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