Choices Markets to expand to Commercial Drive

Vancouver-based Choices Markets buys independent Drive Organics at 1045 Commercial Drive

Choices Markets CEO Ishkandar Ahmed says enhanced buying power will not necessarily mean lower prices

Choices Group is buying the Drive Organics independent grocer on Commercial Drive for an undisclosed amount and plans to rebrand the store as a Choices Markets location within a few months.

“We bought the store,” Choices Markets CEO Ishkandar Ahmed told Business in Vancouver. 

“It will take us a bit of time to rebrand it but eventually it will be a Choices Markets store.”

The addition will increase the Vancouver-based grocer’s store-count to eight locations, seven in Metro Vancouver and one in Kelowna. 

It also operates a rice bakery and a flower store that is connected with one of its Vancouver stores.

Ahmed said he expected a Choices Market on Commercial Drive would do well because it is a well-known brand in Metro Vancouver.

“It’s like with Starbucks. Customers know what they’re getting and they know that we stand for certain quality for our fresh produce, our deli and our meat offerings.”

Ahmed agreed that the store’s purchasing costs could go down because of Choices Markets’ larger economies of scale. He doubted that it would mean price cuts, however.

“Prices are pretty low on Commercial Drive,” Ahmed said. “It’s a very competitive area.”