Le Seville, site of the 14,000 sq ft Marché Adnois [Image Source]

Grocery retailer Marché Adonis has opened a urban-sized store in downtown Montreal. It's a model that may be copied for future locations as the grocer seeks space in urban centres. It could open a second Montreal store in the coming months, and it may expand further into Toronto and beyond.

For those unfamiliar, Marché Adonis is a Mediterranean-inspired grocery retailer with six locations in the Montreal area as well as one in Mississauga, Ontario. Most locations are in the 30,000-40,000 square foot range. It was bought by Metro in late 2011, and appears to be in expansion mode.

The new downtown Montreal Adonis is about 14,000 square feet and is located at the base of a new condo tower, Le Seville, on Ste Catherine Street West between Atwater and St-Mathieu Streets. Adonis may open a second similarly-sized location as part of a multi-building condominium development in Montreal's Griffintown, in a project called District Griffin by Devimco.

A source tells us that Marché Adonis could open one or more stores in Downtown Toronto. We won't elaborate until we can provide a confirmation.

Entrance to Marché Adonis' downtown Montreal store. Image: Facebook

Adonis' move is part of a larger trend that is seeing grocery retailers opening stores in downtown locations. Downtown Toronto and Vancouver are already home to a substantial number of grocery stores, and the trend is growing throughout Canada. Montreal continues this trend as new condos are constructed and more residents move downtown.

The above topic merits further comment. Canada is seeing a growing trend of car-free (or almost car-free) lifestyles. Urban food retail is adapting accordingly. We believe that walkable neighbourhoods should ideally have a food retailer (at least for staple items) within a five-minute walk, or about 400 metres from a residence's front door. The idea has succeeded in Manhattan for generations and is experiencing increased popularity in American cities like Chicago, where there has been a noticeable increase in grocery stores in its densely populated River North neighbourhood. Toronto's downtown core has seen considerable increase in grocery stores including a flagship Loblaws at the base of Maple Leaf Gardens. Vancouver's downtown core includes grocery chains and boasts three upscale grocery stores, each about 25,000 square feet, called Urban Fare.

We'll be writing more on urban grocery store retail, as we find the concept interesting. Living in a Downtown Vancouver condo tower, this author very much appreciates having three grocery stores within two blocks, helping make car ownership unnecessary.

[Marché Adonis website]