Longo’s has revamped its Market by Longo’s store in downtown Toronto’s Brookfield Place, doubling its size to 6,200 square feet and adding new amenities. It is the first major renovation for the store, which was the first of five Market by Longo’s stores in downtown Toronto when it opened in 2006.
“It’s a real overhaul in terms of looks, aesthetics, design, layout and [food] offerings,” says Longo’s chief spokesperson and brand ambassador Rosanne Longo. “The summer is a good time because it’s a down time and wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for people who are loyal to that location because it’s a bit quieter.”
The store was closed for approximately eight weeks to carry out the renovation, although the company did relocate impacted employees to other stores, such as its nearby Maple Leaf Square location. The new store employs 65 people.
Located in Toronto’s PATH system, the revamped store includes an expanded kitchen offering stone oven pizza and paninis, freshly prepared sushi, a full-service bakery as well as an expanded hot bar, salad bar and soup selections.
Market by Longo’s stores are smaller than the regular Longo’s supermarkets, and cater largely to urban professionals with an emphasis on fresh and prepared foods that account for the bulk of its business. The Brookfield Place store carries approximately 1,500 grocery, dairy and frozen items, but Longo says that because most of its shoppers are on foot, they tend to be stock-up and last minute items.
The Market by Longo’s stores are designed to facilitate quick trips for shoppers, with much of the business at the Brookfield Place store occurring in the morning at lunchtime and after work, says Longo. The store is only open on weekdays.
Longo says that the format has been successful for Longo’s. “We’re just delivering on what customers are asking for,” she says, noting that downtown residents were becoming more familiar with the Longo’s brand through its delivery service Grocery Gateway while the condominium boom that began in the mid to late 2000s provided a significant business opportunity.
“We had a keen eye to what was going on downtown in real estate, and we opened them strategically,” says Longo. “Customers were looking for what we’re known for: Fresh, quality prepared foods in a format that’s easily shoppable and convenient to get in and out.”
There are currently no plans for major updates to the remaining Market by Longo’s stores, with Longo saying the current renovation largely came about because the company was given an opportunity to take over the space next door.