Miracle Mart

Miracle Mart was a chain of discount department stores with locations in Ontario and Quebec, Canada based in Saint-Laurent, Quebec. The chain was renamed to simply M in the mid-1980s.

Miracle Mart
Subsidiary
IndustryRetail
FateBankruptcy, Dissolved
Founded1961
Defunct1992
HeadquartersSaint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
ProductsDiscount store
ParentSteinberg

History

The company was founded in early 1961 as Miracle Mart Limited by Montreal-based grocery chain Steinberg's.[1] Later in the year, Steinberg's associated itself with Vancouver-based chain Woodward's, and operated the first two stores, in Pont-Viau and Place Greenfield Park, under the trade name of Woodward Steinberg.[2][3] The partnership between Steinberg's and Woodward ended in 1962, and the two Woodward Steinberg stores were converted to the Miracle Mart name.[4] [5]

Miracle Mart operated at mid-level and competed with the likes of Towers/Bonimart, Zellers, Woolco and Kmart. There was also a similarly named grocery chain, Miracle Food Mart (Steinberg's rebranded all their Ontario grocery stores to Miracle Food Marts starting in 1969), that operated exclusively in Ontario. Often found together, some locations with both a grocery and department store became Steinberg Beaucoups or Miracle Beaucoups.

In order to provide photographic film-processing services at Miracle Mart stores, a company was created by the Greenberg brothers, named Angreen Photo, which evolved into Astral Photo and became giant Astral Media.

The chain was facing financial problems since its debut in 1961.[6][7] In the mid 1980s, Steinberg's underwent a restructuring plan to rebrand the chain to the shorter and less anglophone name of M.[8] The transformation of Miracle Mart locations into M stores were done in different phases. Miracle Mart at Carrefour Laval was the first location to convert as a M store and the only one to do so in the year of 1985.[9][10] Four additional stores in Greater Montreal were converted to the M name by September 1986; specifically at Promenades Saint-Bruno, Place Longueuil, Mail Champlain and Pont-Viau.[9] Four more stores, again all located in the Montreal area, were added to the M cluster in April 1987: Châteauguay, West Island Mall, Place Lasalle and Galeries Lachine.[11][12] The remaining 11 Miracle Mart stores were renamed in August of the same year.[13][7]

Overall, only 20 of Miracle Mart's 31 stores transitioned to the M nameplate.[14] The other 11 locations (7 in Ontario and 4 in Quebec) were closed during the restructuring process.[8][7] The 11 aforementioned stores that had bit the dust were Place Greenfield Park, Centre Saint-Martin (Laval), Place Lebourgneuf (Charlesbourg), Place Centre Ville (Jonquière) and 7 locations in Southern Ontario.[14] This signaled the end for the chain in south-west Ontario.[6] Other Miracle Mart stores had already been closed in the 1970s and first half of the 1980s due to poor performance.

The sub-chain M was initially successful and promising.[6] The first store at Carrefour Laval increased its sales by 55 percent in the first two years that followed its conversion from Miracle Mart to M.[6] In December 1986, the five M stores saw their sales increased by 6,5%, while the remaining 15 Miracle Mart-branded locations continued to decline.[15]

Despite a good start, the M chain began to go downhill after the last Miracle Mart stores were renamed in 1987, and was soon experiencing the same financial woes that had plagued its predecessor. When Socanav took over Steinberg's and was trying to sell parts of the company off, a buyer for the poorly performing M stores could not be found.[16] They were liquidated in July 1992, virtually the same time parent company Steinberg's went bankrupt.[16][17] The original store in Pont-Viau, Laval was still in operation when the company declared bankruptcy.

Locations

Quebec

Later converted as M

Never carried the M name

Ontario

References

  1. ""Le mondes affaires"". La Presse. Montreal. 22 February 1961. p. 16. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  2. "Woodward Steinberg advertisement page". La Presse. Montreal. 6 December 1961. p. 56. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  3. "Woodward Steinberg advertisement page". La Presse. Montreal. 7 October 1961. p. 37. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  4. "Steinberg's acquiert des intérêts de Woodward". Le Devoir. Montreal. 9 May 1962. p. 10.
  5. "Miracle Mart advertisement page". La Presse. Montreal. 13 June 1962. p. 29.
  6. "Steinberg projette d'ajouter cinq ou six nouveaux magasins à sa chaîne «M» au Québec". La Presse. Montreal. 22 November 1987. p. D4. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  7. "Steinberg espère des profits de la bannière "M"". Le Soleil. Quebec City. 20 August 1987. p. C4. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  8. "Le magasin Miracle Mart de Place Lebourgneuf sera fermé". Le Soleil. 22 August 1986. p. B5.
  9. "Ouverture de Quatre grands magasins "M" dans la région". Boucherville. 3 September 1986. p. 18. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  10. "Encart publicitaire. Steinberg. M. Miracle Mart. Carrefour Laval". La Presse. Montreal. 9 October 1985. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  11. "Quatre autres magasins Miracle Mart". Le Devoir. Montreal. 10 April 1987. p. 7.
  12. "M advertisement section". La Presse. Montreal. 8 April 1987. p. A10. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  13. "La fin d'une époque". La Presse. Montreal. 22 August 1987. p. A7. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  14. "Steinberg ferme onze des 31 Miracle Mart". Le Devoir. Montreal. 22 March 1986. p. 17.
  15. "Legère baisse des bénéfices de Steinberg". Le Devoir. Montreal. 12 December 1986. p. B9.
  16. "Magasins M: la liquidation est lancée". La Presse. Montreal. 5 July 1992. p. B4. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  17. "La fermeture des magasins M de la région entraine la perte de 120 emplis". Le Soleil. Quebec City. 12 July 1992. p. A5. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
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