Etobicoke Centre MPP Kanga Surma, left, joins Ward 5 Councillor Justin Di Ciano, right, in congratulating Rabba Fine Foods founder Jack Rabba on the store redesign. Jack Rabba was presented with a celebratory scroll from the city.

(Click on a photo to enter the gallery.)

Toronto-based supermarket chain Rabba Fine Foods has launched a pilot project with a new store design at an Etobicoke store – one of its 34 locations.

The urban, European-inspired market concept features new lighting, curated design elements, wider aisles and a greater selection of fresh produce, deli options and hot-and-ready home meal replacements.

Merchandising manager Peter Lombardi played a key role in the redesign. He says moving the dairy, deli, bakery and produce sections to the entrance of the store in a well lit area is a key reason why sales increased at the location even during the construction period.

The 6,000 sq. ft. Etobicoke store was chosen as the test location for this pilot project due to its popularity, high sales performance, its ideal size and the pre-existing Tim Hortons location. Based on community feedback, Rabba is prepared to roll out the redesign to all 34 of its locations in the future.

The new design was formally unveiled on September 26 with prominent dignitaries from Etobicoke in attendance, including Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP James Maloney, Ward 5 Councillor Justin Di Ciano, and Etobicoke Centre MPP Kinga Surma. Here are a few photos from the re-opening.

Jack Rabba flanked on the left by Todd Newstead of DCI and on the right by Tom Shurrie of CFIG.A commitment to fresh includes positioning produce near the entrance.Ace Bakery was on hand for the re-opening. Plans for the bakery include wooden shelves to provide a fresh-baked look.Deli area is very close to the front entrance.Enlarged bakery dairy and deli areas near the entrance display a growing emphasis on fresh.Jack Rabba says the chain will be rationalizing SKUs based on local demographics for each store.Left to right with part of the Rabba Fine Foods team: Mayank Sharma, Peter Lombardi, Jack Rabba and Frank Nweisser.Peter Lombardi says the new store design has increased the cheese area by half and quadrupled the produce area. Frozen prepared items have also increased.Rick (left) and Jack (right) Rabba flank Domenic Ieraci of Four Way Electrical Contracting.

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