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Farm Boy banner expansion moves forward

farmboEmpire Co. Ltd. announced the next three locations of its expanding Farm Boy banner in Ontario. With this announcement, 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 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.”

Since December 2018, the company has opened five new Farm Boy locations and announced an additional 12. 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.

“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.”

The three Ontario Farm Boy store locations announced today 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.

In addition to the conversions, 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.

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