Lloyd mainstay on the move

By Geoff Lee

August 2, 2016 12:00 AM

Christine Macri who co-owns the newly named M&M Food Market with her husband Noel is excited to be relocating to a new flagship store across town facing Sobeys following a corporate name change and rebranding.

Riddle me this: Why is the boneless, skinless chicken from the M&M Food Market in Lloydminster crossing the city?
The advance answer is the franchise’s best selling food product is part of a store relocation and rebranding as a flagship M&M Food Market at the Cornerstone mall across from Sobeys.
The existing M&M shop owned by Christine Macri, the business spokesperson, and her husband, Noel, will close Aug. 10 and reopen Aug. 13 in the space where Ardene used to be.
The Lloydminster store will be the largest in Canada at 2,545 sq. ft. and will be the 12th of 378 stores in Canada to get the branding treatment.
“Research has shown the whole store needs a new look and customers want to do their own shopping,” said Macri.
M&M Food Market is pitching itself as a purveyor of a wider range of food.
The rebranding recognizes the franchises have morphed from mainly meats into sides, single serves, fruits and vegetables, sauces and seasonings, prepared meals, appetizers and desserts.
“Our current location is too small for what the design is going to look like,” said Macri.
With the new food market concept, the familiar counter that separates customers from freezers will be removed at the new location giving them access to the freezers so they can check out products.
The company also is putting more emphasis on its online ordering platform, called eOrder, which allows people to place an order online and pick it up at an M&M store.
The business was founded as M&M Meat Shops in Kitchener Ont. 36 years ago and is now based in Mississauga following the name and ownership change earlier this year. 
Macri said the parent company Searchlight from Toronto seized on the opportunity to create a flagship store in Lloydminster with their existing lease due to expire at the end of August.
“This is one of the busiest stores in Canada and will be a flagship store,” said Macri.
“They wanted to make a big splash so this wasn’t a location they want to renovate.”
The Macris have owned and operated the franchise at its existing location on 50th Ave. for five years.
In that time, they and their employees turned it into the top retailer in sales in Western Canada before the economic downturn bumped them into second place.
“This has always been a good location for us,” said Macri.“We like our neighbours, customers know where we are.”
She said the new large location should be even better for business and their customers with two tills to serve everyone faster.
“It’s where the major retail is so it’s not too far of a drive to see us over there and they will like the experience,” said Macri.
The new location will be equipped with 30 self-serve food doors with labeled contents along with food bunkers galore.
The renovation work is being done by Bexon Construction in Lloydminster.
Macri said their business has exceeded the Cheers bar concept where everyone knows everyone’s name.
“We know them by name, I think we know them by face and by phone number, and I think we know them by what they eat, which probably makes them feel weird because I know what they ordered the last time they came in,” joked Macri. “That might be just because we care and maybe that’s what sets us apart.”
The new location will open with one less employee who is going to university but Macri said she hopes to add staff once they are up and running.
M&M Food Market will hold a grand opening on Sept. 10 following the soft launch on Saturday Aug. 13.

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