Empire Company Limited has announced the next seven locations of its FreshCo banner expansion across Canada.
Empire plans to open six new FreshCo locations in Alberta and one in Northern Ontario. With this announcement, Empire has now confirmed 37 of the 65 locations in Western Canada. Last December, the company said it would convert approximately 25 per cent of its Safeway and Sobeys locations to FreshCo over a five-year period.
Empire says it is on track with the Project Horizon commitment to open 10 to 15 FreshCo stores in fiscal 2021.
"Empire's discount network has grown 23 per cent since we opened our first store in the West only two years ago," says Mike Venton, general manager, discount. "We are committed to delivering market share growth through Project Horizon; Alberta is ripe with opportunity for Empire to compete with a strong discount offering. We are now more than half way through our FreshCo expansion in Western Canada."
The six Alberta FreshCo store conversions announced today are: Brentwood in Calgary; Millbourne Mall in Edmonton; Saddle Ridge in Calgary; Coliseum in Edmonton; Palisades Square in Edmonton; and Gateway Village Mall in St. Albert. Closures of the respective Safeway stores will start in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, and open as FreshCo stores starting at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2022.
In Northern Ontario, the Safeway store in Thunder Bay will close in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and re-open as a FreshCo store in the second quarter of fiscal 2022.
Since April 2019, the Company has opened 16 FreshCo stores in B.C., two in Manitoba and four in Saskatchewan. By the end of fiscal 2022, the Company plans to have these 37 FreshCo stores open in Western Canada.