Farm Boy's recent celebration of its Etobicoke, Ont. store, the first in the Greater Toronto Area, is part of a three-year expansion plan to open up to 12 stores or more, says Jeff York, Farm Boy's Co-CEO. The Etobicoke store marks the company's 25th location.
"Our 20,000 sq ft Hamilton store is set to open the week before Easter. In our pipeline for three years we have plans to open stores in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Barrie and North Oshawa. These are all sites we have at various levels of negotiations and we're looking at other markets too like Guelph and Waterloo."
While the newest Etobicoke store may look similar to other Farm Boy locations, York says Farm Boy's rule is that every store it opens is better than the one before "in terms of fixturing, merchandising flow, and other elements all in an effort to improve on the customer experience."
Asked why the company continues to expand amidst the emergence of ecommerce and Amazon, York says "two per cent of grocery is done online. It is expected to reach 12 per cent in five years, but 88 per cent of business will still be done in stores. So everyone is fighting over that and I'm more concerned about the 88 per cent."