Success Stories

July 2008 - Strategy Magazine Upfront

Couche-Tard gets fresh

by Garine Tcholakian

>pdf article download

Quick pit-stop convenience stores aren't exactly the kind of place you would associate with healthy lifestyle choices. But Montreal-based convenience store chain Couche-Tard, North America's second-largest, is trimming that notion.

Launched late last month, the new Couche-Tard Menu offers fresh food and healthy prepared meals alongside those moist Vachon cakes and frosted drinks. The "menu," promoted essentially through in-store advertising, includes salads, sushi, soups, smoothies, wraps and pates. There's even a food advisor to help you with your selections while ensuring they're meeting Couche-Tard's freshness criteria.

"Customers can take advantage of this new service at all times of the day, whether they're picking up lunch close to their workplace or dinner on their way home," says Michel Bernard, VP of Eastern Canada operations, Couche-Tard.

The move comes after the company's $2-million reno of seven stores implementing the new concept, from new signage to in-store promotions by Pigeon Branding + Design.

It also comes after last month's partnership expansion with Irving Oil, resulting in Couche-Tard's operation of over 250 of Irving Oil's retail sites in Atlantic Canada and New England (about 3,440 of its network of 5,690 convenience stores include motor fuel dispensing).

The model is initially being launched in eight stores in the Greater Montreal region - 20% of the chain's 600 Quebec stores.

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