Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mac's Convenience Store Banner to Be Retired as Circle K Becomes Global Brand

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mac's Convenience Store Banner to Be Retired as Circle K Becomes Global Brand

Article excerpt

Mac's store banner to disappear: Couche-Tard

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LAVAL, Que. - Alimentation Couche-Tard is retiring the 54-year-old Mac's convenience store brand as it unites under the Circle K banner in most areas of the world.

The change has been in the works for more than two years and follows several acquisitions that have added different brands to the Quebec-based company since its founding in 1980.

"Today we may be a little bit of distant cousins being from different banners and different companies. We think this has an opportunity to have us act more as brothers and sisters," said CEO Brian Hannasch.

He said the change will accelerate the introduction of new products, including its house brand coffee, across its network of convenience stores.

The company (TSX:ATD.B) will keep its Couche-Tard banner in Quebec because of "unique circumstances."

"The notoriety of the brand is so strong here," executive chairman Alain Bouchard told a news conference on Tuesday. "It would be an even bigger challenge to change Couche-Tard to Circle K, so it was never really considered."

The company will begin rolling out its Circle K brand to other parts of Canada in May 2017, following rollouts in the United States and Europe that will mostly begin next year.

No job cuts are expected among the approximately 8,000 employees that work at about 800 Mac's stores in Canada. Couche-Tard already operates about 125 Circle K stores in Atlantic Canada.

The change will also see the disappearance of Scandinavia's Statoil store brand acquired in 2012, and The Pantry's Kangaroo Express, bought last year. Couche-Tard has the rights to use the Statoil name until 2018.

Circle K is already Couche-Tard's most widely used store banner, primarily in the United States in addition to 12 other countries.

The Circle K brand licensed in stores across Asia is part of Couche-Tard's future growth plans but Hannasch wouldn't say if it's a precursor to a large expansion or acquisition. …

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