Parkland Corporation has opened a new On the Run stand-alone store. The store will also feature Bites On the Run: a new foodservice concept launched with M&M Food Market.
“An important milestone for Parkland with the launch of our Bites On the Run by M&M Food Market concept at our new stand-alone store,” said Parkland Canada President, Ian White on the company’s LinkedIn site.
The store opened in Montreal’s entertainment district. Parkland began opening its first stand-alone convenience stores earlier this year, with its first opening in Richmond, B.C., in April. The company first announced its plans to open stand-alone c-stores in January 2022.
At the time, the company said it aimed to have about 1,000 c-stores across Canada and the U.S. by 2025, with the store in Richmond being one of 50 urban locations the company announced in 2022.
Beyond the On the Run brand, Parkland operates The Corner Store and Snack Express locations across the country. The company said the expanded stores will serve both urban and suburban markets.
The company also began converting multiple fuel sites last year after its aggressive acquisition of more than 100 Husky retail gas stations from Cenovus Energy last year.
In April the company posted about its expansions on its social sites, reading: “The makeovers are underway! We are busy converting 163 sites to On The Run (OTR) and associate fuel brands. What customers will find is a warm and inviting space inside, along with the opportunity to collect Journie Rewards points at locations across the country.”
[Read more: “Parkland’s forecourt makeovers”]
Parkland, which operates in Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean regions and the Americas, owns gas stations that operate under the fuel brands Chevron, Fas Gas Plus, Pioneer, Ultramar, RaceTrac and Esso.
“We want to make the lives of our customers easier and there’s no better way of doing that than being right in the communities where they live and work. With the integration of more than 330 sites into our Canadian retail network, we’re taking coverage to a whole new level,” said White of the massive overhaul at the time.
New M&M food concept
As for its Montreal store, photos of the Marché Express (On the Run) shared to the company’s LinkedIn site show a foodservice counter with ready-to-order meals from M&M like a grilled chipotle chicken BLT sandwich, gourmet bruschetta, poutine and desserts as well as a selection of refrigerated and frozen foods from M&M. There is also a large section for beer and wine.
M&M began in Kitchener, Ont., is 1980 with M&M Meat Shops which featured flash-frozen exclusive products. The company has since expanded, rebranding to M&M Food Market and grown its product offering to include pantry essentials, gluten-free and vegan offerings, its staple prepared meals and more.
Parkland announced in January last year that it had acquired M&M in a $322-million deal from Searchlight Capital Partners. The acquisition included over 300 standalone franchise and corporate-owned stores, over 2,000 M&M Express locations and a reward program with around 2 million active members (at the time).
"We want to create convenience destinations, [and] we want to create stronger connections to consumers. We are going to focus on the white space we have in Canada to get it right, so that when we’re ready to move into new geographies for the M&M brand, we’ve had a chance to test some concepts to ensure we’re successful," said White in an interview at the time.
[Read more: "Behind the curtain of the M&M-Parkland deal: Q&A"]
It is unclear whether all of Parkland’s upcoming On the Run stores will include M&M meals, but the conversation on the company’s LinkedIn shows that customers are excited for the new offering.
“Looks amazing! Hoping one comes to Greater Toronto Hamilton Niagara region soon!” reads a comment on the company’s LinkedIn post announcing the opening of the Montreal store.