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08/03/2020

Farm Boy growth underway

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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In the last two weeks, Canadian company Empire released a significant growth strategy called Project Horizon that included a plan to increase stores for Sobey, FreshCo and its Farm Boy banners. The latter is underway on its expansion in Ontario, bringing the banner to 43 locations in the area.

Driving some of the growth of Farm Boy is its private brand business, such as its Farm Boy Organic line of products. “Farm Boy's unrivalled 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."

Three Farm Boy stores are going to open this year, nine more will be opened by end of 2021 and 31 are currently open in Ontario. Empire acquired Farm Boy in 2018 when it had 26 locations; the plan is to double the store count over the new five years with new site builds and converting existing Sobeys locations.

The mixture of new builds and conversion sites will range in size from 12,000 sq. ft. to a 38,000 sq. ft. signature store.

"We're continually evolving our offer to deliver Farm Boy's signature fresh food and convenience to communities across Ontario," said Jean-Louis Bellemare, Farm Boy president and general manager. "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."