Empire Continues Farm Boy Expansion, Announces Three New Ontario Locations

STELLARTON, NS – Empire Company Limited (“Empire” or the “Company”) (TSX: EMP.A), 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.


Farm Boy LocationOpen DateCity
Farm Boy NewmarketSeptember 2020Newmarket
Farm Boy College St. & Bay St.Fall 2020Toronto
Farm Boy Yonge & SoudanFall 2020Toronto
Farm Boy Train YardsFall 2020Ottawa
Farm Boy King St. N & Weber St. NWinter 2020/2021Waterloo
Farm Boy Front & BathurstWinter 2020/2021Toronto
Farm Boy Yonge St. & Silver Maple Rd.Spring 2021Richmond Hill
Farm Boy Dundas West & Aukland2021Etobicoke
Farm Boy Dupont & Christie2021Toronto
Farm Boy Harbourfront2021Toronto
Farm Boy Greenbank2021Ottawa
Farm Boy Bronte2021Oakville

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.


This document contains forward-looking statements which are presented for the purpose of assisting the reader to contextualize the Company’s financial position and understand management’s expectations regarding the Company’s strategic priorities, objectives and plans. These forward-looking statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are identified by words or phrases such as “anticipates”, “expects”, “believes”, “estimates”, “intends”, “could”, “may”, “plans”, “predicts”, “projects”, “will”, “would”, “foresees” and other similar expressions or the negative of these terms. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • The Farm Boy expansion in Ontario, including the Company’s expectations regarding future operating results and profitability, the amount and timing of expenses, and the number, location, feasibility and timing of construction and conversions, all of which may be impacted by COVID-19, construction schedules and permits, the economic environment and labour relations; and
  • The conversion of the Sobeys store to Chalo! FreshCo including the Company’s expectations regarding the amount and timing of expenses, which could be impacted by COVID-19, construction schedules and permits and the economic environment.

By its nature, forward-looking information requires the Company to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements made. For more information on risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may impact the Company’s forward-looking statements, please refer to the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including the “Risk Management” section of the fiscal 2020 annual MD&A.

Although the Company believes the predictions, forecasts, expectations or conclusions reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, it can provide no assurance that such matters will prove correct. Readers are urged to consider the risks, uncertainties and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information in this document reflects the Company’s current expectations and is subject to change. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made by or on behalf of the Company other than as required by applicable securities laws.


Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing, through wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., and related real estate. With approximately $26.6 billion in annual sales and $14.6 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 127,000 people.

Additional financial information relating to Empire, including the Company’s Annual Information Form, can be found on the Company’s website at www.empireco.ca or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.


Ontario-based Farm Boy is the unique provider of a friendly, fresh-market shopping experience. Signature farm-fresh produce and organic, natural and locally sourced foods are the cornerstone of the business, bolstered by their popular private label brands and wholesome, chef-prepared meals that are made from scratch in the Farm Boy Kitchen. With leagues of loyal customers, Farm Boy has grown from a small produce stand that began in Cornwall in 1981 to a 31-store household name, growing all across Ontario. With new locations opening in late 2020 and early 2021, the company plans to continue its fresh market expansion in coming years.