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H-mart opens urban convenience format in Toronto

The Korean chain's new M2M store is the first one outside of the U.S.

New York-based Korean grocery chain, H-mart opened its first urban convenience format this morning in Toronto's North York area.

Dubbed M2M–morning to midnight, it's located a stone's throw from the Sheppard Centre located at Yonge and Sheppard.

The two-storey, 4,500-square-foot store is the first one in Canada. There are two other M2M stores in Manhattan.

VIEW: Slideshow of the new M2M store in Toronto

H-mart first launched the M2M format in 2001. H-mart, short for "Han Ah Reum," in Korean means "One Arm Full of Groceries" and was opened its first store in 1982 in Queens, N.Y.

M2M's tagline is "So fresh! So smart! Gateway to the authentic Korean cuisine."

Assistant marketing manager, Jongha Chun, said M2M is targeted not only at Korean and Asian consumers but mainstream shoppers as well.

The selection is heavily skewed to Korean consumers however, with a wide selection of Korean cuisine mainstays such as pickled cabbage (kimchi), Korean laver/seaweed, Korean cold and frozen noodles as well as baked goods.

H-mart has some 50 stores in the U.S. and operates seven supermarkets in Canada.

READ: Conference looks at ethnic shoppers and how to reach them

The company's Richmond Hill store acts at the main distribution centre, preparing all the fresh baked goods and Korean products, like kimchi for the other H-mart stores and the new M2M store.

A 30-year-old family run company, whose headquarters are in South Korea, and is considered one of the country's largest "chaebols" or multinational. Along with grocery, H-mart also runs hotels, banks, and an export business.

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