- Posted August 5, 2014 by
M&M Meat Shops bought out, under new management
Private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. has bought the M&M Meat Shops Ltd. brand, an iconic chain in Canada that serves meats and other frozen foods.
Sales have been on decline for M&M Meat Shops as the public begins to opt for fresh foods as opposed to frozen; Searchlight is on a mission to help M&M bounce back and compete in the turbulent grocery market.
Searchlight reported that Andy O’Brien would be the company’s new head, while Sam Fliorio will serve as chief financial officer; O’Brien was the CEO of Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, while Florio used to be the president of Kelsey’s Bar & Grill. These are seasoned professionals that have been brought on board to breathe new life into a renowned brand falling out of favor.
Kevin Grier is the senior analyst at the George Morris Centre, an agri-food specialist in Guleph, Ontario.
“The task is huge,” Grier said. “They clearly need to reinvent their image because it hasn’t changed in years…it’s really stale.”
Searchlight’s data reveals that sales of frozen foods are increasing at a 2.2 percent yearly compound rate, while fresh foods are growing at 3.4 percent; the investment firm will be focusing on new marketing campaigns and redesigning store presentations, in hopes that these new initiatives will regenerate interest in the revered Canadian chain.
M&M was founded by Mac Voisin in 1980; he’s planning to continue with the company as an adviser.
“Canadians love and trust M&M Meat Shops because they can count on the quality and convenience of its products,” Voisin explained in a press statement. “I am confident that the new team will continue to ensure that the brand remains a Canadian favorite.”
However, the chain is facing increasing competition from online frozen food distributors who are able to deliver food directly to customers. Many of these companies also provide discounts via sites such as shopster.ca, which offer coupons for all the best online retail outlets.
Erol Uzumeri, a founding partner of Searchlight, explained to CBC News that they would be focusing on informing customers about the benefits of frozen foods as opposed to fresh ones, as well as rearranging stores to make certain items more visible and encourage them to experiment further.
“One of the things we have to communicate is the benefits of flash frozen food, in terms of keeping the nutrients in the food and reducing food waste,” Uzumeri said.
M&M has a long, hard road ahead of them, but with the reputation that the company already has, it’s likely that their new management will be the kind of boon that might just bring back some of their clientele.