Tags Food & Gas

Whitecourt, Alberta


After 30 years without a refresh, even the most well managed store will find itself in desperate need of a makeover. Tastes change! Design styles, food offerings and merchandizing strategies evolve. You either adapt with the times or risk losing customers to the new place in town.

Tags Food & Gas realized their store had passed its “Best Before” date. They were eager to jump into the 21st Century. However, they didn’t want to lose a day of sales to renovations.

Before: High shelves have fallen out of favour as it has been proven sales increase when customers have a clear view of the whole store.


To use our favourite non-technical term, the new vision required that the store be “gutted.” The plan involved changing everything but the tile, ceiling, exterior walls and location of the walk-in coolers. (Yes, we even replaced the kitchen sink!)

MWA proposed a staged renovation that would allow the doors to remain open 24/7 throughout construction.

Bulkheads that made the store seem claustrophobic were removed to create an open, inviting atmosphere. The interior was redesigned to provide unimpeded sight lines and a clear view of the key destinations. The bakery was expanded, with the kitchen area tastefully hidden from the view of customers. Signage was introduced. Cabinetry, fixtures and wall displays were all replaced to provide a modern look and feel.

Before: Too much clutter will overwhelm guests and make items difficult to find.


From the first time he entered the store, Mark Walsh believed that it was a sleeping giant ready to rise. He was proven correct. Following the refresh, the sales numbers went off the charts. The inviting, easy-to-navigate layout attracted a whole new customer base, while getting a nod of approval from longtime patrons.

Mark provided the ingredients for change, but credits the store owners for taking the ball and running with it. They were 100% committed to the plan and worked hard to make sure the new store reached its full potential.

After: People buy more when they are in a relaxed environment where things are easy to find.