Exceptional retailers in our industry are the ones that refuse to sit on their laurels, and amongst that elite group is Empire Company Limited. The company has revealed a new strategy as the summer heats up here in the Northern Hemisphere with big plans for its banner stores Farm Boy and Sobeys across Canada.
The company announced three new Farm Boy banner locations would be popping up in Ontario, Canada. With this strategy in place, the company now has 43 confirmed locations in Ontario. In 2018, the company acquired the Farm Boy business when it had 26 stores and announced plans to double its store count over five years through new site builds and conversions of some existing Sobeys locations.
“Farm Boy’s unrivaled fresh food offer and popular private label brand have connected tremendously with customers in Ontario,” said Michael Medline, President, and CEO of Empire. “This format is a clear winner for us and is part of our Project Horizon commitment to grow market share and optimize our store network over the next three years.”
With nine stores left to go for the next three years, it seems Empire is on track to meet its goal.
If we take a quick look back at the company’s progressive growth—since December 2018, the Empire has opened five new Farm Boy locations and announced an additional 12, according to the release. These new locations will bring Farm Boy’s total store count to 43 by the end of 2021. Farm Boy is in different stages of development on more than 25 new stores in Ontario, a mixture of new builds and conversion sites that will range in size from 12,000 square feet to a 38,000-square-foot signature store.
The three Ontario Farm Boy store locations announced are Harbourfront in Toronto, Bronte in Oakville, and Greenbank in Ottawa, all converting from existing Sobeys stores. The Sobeys and Sobeys Urban Fresh locations will close in Fall 2020 and re-open as Farm Boy in 2021.
“We’re continually evolving our offer to deliver Farm Boy’s signature fresh food and convenience to communities across Ontario,” said Farm Boy President and General Manager, Jean-Louis Bellemare. “Our team is dedicated to delivering unique, interesting, and amazing products and the exceptional customer experience so many of our customers have come to enjoy.”
Additionally, Sobeys Airport Road will close in Fall 2020 with plans to open as a Chalo! FreshCo in Spring 2021. Sobeys Urban Fresh Mount Pleasant is scheduled for permanent closure in Fall 2020. The combined costs related to these conversions and closures will be charged to earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 and are estimated to be approximately $6.1 million before tax.
For more information on Empire’s plans, click here for the full press release.
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