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Vince's Market: where meals and math make sense

Knowing what customers want now, and in the future, led Vince's Market to its latest store renovation

Vince’s Market, in Ontario, seems to do no wrong these days. After scooping up accolades at the recent

Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers’ awards, including National Silver in the Small Store category for its revamped Newmarket location, Vince’s is now on the call list of many developers.

“We’ve been approached by a number of them to take over as an anchor tenant in their complexes,” says store operator Giancarlo Trimarchi. While flattered, he says that unless the math adds up, Vince’s won’t add to its current fleet of three stores any time soon.

Earlier this year, Vince’s invested almost $2 million into its 11,274-sq.-ft. Newmarket location. An extra 800 square feet were added and departments resized depending on their opportunity. Frozen and grocery were shrunk, for example, while deli, HMR and bulk food expanded. The entire place also got a “welcome facelift to catch the eyes,” says Trimarchi. “We increased space to the shopping patterns of today, such as HMR, and what we expect for the future. So far, it’s meeting our expectations.”

Vince’s roots go back to 1929, but it is the current owners who have grown it to its newfound heft. Giancarlo’s father, Carmen Trimarchi, and Brian Jones took over in 1986, transforming Vince’s store in the town of Sharon, an hour north of Toronto, into a 15,246-sq.-ft. supermarket. The Newmarket store followed nearby in 1999, and then one in Uxbridge in 2009.

As veteran retailers, Johns, the Trimarchis and their staff still rely on gut feelings to make some decisions. But now analytics are playing a bigger part. That can be as simple as matching weekly movement reports to production forms “so that we know where we overproduced or underproduced,” says Giancarlo. But data now also pinpoints trends, such as organics (trending up) and frozen food (trending down). “We’re able to react quite quickly,” he says.

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