Sobeys Reveals Plans for Farm Boy Banner's Toronto Takeover
- by Kayla Webb
TORONTO, CANADA - Empire Co-owned Farm Boy is about to be running through the six (as sung about by a certain rapper who will not be named for reasons) with more stores. Actually, if Sobeys' parent company has anything to do with it, Farm Boy is about to be running over, under, around, behind, and through the greater Toronto area with more stores. In a call with analysts earlier this week, Empire’s President and CEO Michael Medline revealed plans to broaden the boutique grocer's reach beyond Ontario, hinting at ambitions of a Toronto Takeover to continue the strong upward momentum of its third quarter fiscal 2019.
“We’ve never had a weapon like this to go at an area like the [Greater Toronto Area],” Medline said to analysts. “Ontario has historically been our Achilles heel.”
Medline went on to assert that he believes the company can eventually “blanket” Toronto and its suburbs with Farm Boy stores, if Empire wields its “real estate prowess” correctly, according to a report by the Financial Post. Farm Boy currently operates 28 stores in Ontario, with its Toronto network just unfurling now.
In addition to its Farm Boy plans, Empire also announced its financial results from its third quarter of its fiscal 2019 year, ended February 2, 2019. The company reported strong sales momentum, its third consecutive quarter of tonnage growth, and the following highlights:
- $6.24 billion in sales, which is $218 million more than last year
- Adjusted net earnings of $72.9 million, compared to $89.9 million last year
- Same-store sales increased by 3.3%
- 12 FreshCo locations confirmed to open in British Columbia and Manitoba in calendar 2019
“Our execution continued to improve this quarter, building on our run of positive tonnage growth and strong same-store sales across the country. Sales were the strongest we have seen in almost ten years,” Medline said in a press release. “At the same time, the strategic building blocks of our plan continue to fall into place, with momentum on our FreshCo discount expansion plan, very strong performance of our recent Farm Boy acquisition, and on-track development of our e-commerce platform in the Greater Toronto Area.”
Empire Company first acquired Farm Boy late last year.
Will Farm Boy become the grocery face of Toronto? And if so, how will Sobeys' competitors respond? AndNowUKnow will keep an eye on all movements on the grocery retail front.