Empire Co. Ltd. plans to turn up to 25 per cent of its 255 Safeway and Sobeys stores in Western Canada into FreshCo stores over the next five years.
The company's announcement follows its latest second quarter fiscal 2018 results, in which it posted a loss, attributed in part to restructuring costs.
Empire says it lost $23.6 million or nine cents per share for the 13 weeks ended November 4 compared with a profit of $33.1 million or 12 cents per share a year ago. Sales in what was the company's second quarter of its 2018 financial year grew to $6.03 billion, up from $5.93 million, with same store sales increasing 0.4 per cent.
Last month, Empire announced plans to cut about 800 office jobs as part of its plan to improve its operations amid rising challenges in the grocery industry including new rivals, technological change and rising minimum wages.
"Our second quarter results were another step on our journey to revitalize Empire Company," states Michael Medline, president and CEO of Empire Co. "We grew same-store sales and margins while continuing to maintain our focus and discipline on cost control. Our progress is particularly encouraging as we begin to reap the benefits of Project Sunrise, fortify our brand and customer experience, and grow our company."