Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 33

Smaller-format grocery stores continue to
expand in Canada. As a result, they are gaining
market share from the bigger players.

OF
LTY
RY
ERS
DA

BY CRAIG PATTERSON

OVER the past several years, smaller-format specialty grocers have been opening

stores at a rapid pace. Consumers are embracing the trend and as a result, these
retailers are gaining market share from more traditional large-format concepts.
Specialty grocers operate in considerably less space than their larger-format
competitors, with some stores measuring less than 2,000 square feet. Smaller
footprints allow these retailers to operate where larger players may have difficulty finding space, and cost savings can be had from operating with less retail
square footage. While there may be less choice for consumers overall, the timesavings and overall "food edit" has customers returning.
Farm Boy

One of the up-and-coming specialty grocers is Ottawa-based Farm Boy, which
has been compared to the popular Trader Joe's chain in the United States. Farm
Boy is known for selling fresh produce and various food products, with an emphasis
on farm-to-table wholesale. Attractive stores with warm, natural finishes, as well as
friendly customer service keep customers coming back. The updated urban Farm
Boy concepts include hundreds of Ontariomade goods as well as artisanal cheeses, nat"We want to see
urally aged, premium meats and a high-quality
it grow, and we
mix of natural, organic, and local foods.
The brand took hold with consumers with
intend to enable
such magnitude that Empire Co. Ltd., which is
the leadership team
the parent company of Sobeys, acquired Farm
Boy in September of 2018 for $800-million.
of Farm Boy to do
Despite being owned by Empire Co. Ltd., Farm
what they do best."
Boy will remain separate from Sobeys. That's
MICHAEL MEDLINE
according to Empire's President and CEO, MiEmpire Co. Ltd.
chael Medline, who said in a Tweet "I can assure
you that we will not screw this up". Furthermore,
Medline stated to analysts that, "We do not want to ruin the magic of Farm Boy by
trying to integrate them. We love what Farm Boy is doing; it has the best brand. We
want to see it grow, and we intend to enable the leadership team of Farm Boy to do
what they do best: grow a highly successful retail format at double digit rates".
In March of 2019, Medline referred to Farm boy as being a strategic acquisition for Empire, which will be rolled-out in a big way in the Greater Toronto Area.
"We've never had a weapon like this to go at an area like the GTA," said Medline
to analysts following the release of Empire's third quarter results. "Ontario has
historically been our Achilles heel," he went on to say.
Finding real estate for Farm Boy stores will be considerably less of a challenge
when compared to larger format grocery concepts. Farm Boy began experimenting
with urban format stores when in the summer of 2016, it opened a 19,800 square
foot unit in Ottawa's Westboro neighbourhood, which had a greater focus on instore dining with a larger seating area and "Farm Boy Kitchen" prepared food area.
In December of 2017, Farm Boy opened an 8,000 square foot store on the lower level
of the CF Rideau Centre shopping complex in downtown Ottawa, which has been a
huge hit with locals and visitors, not to mention office workers in the area.
Specialty grocers appeal to urban, time-staved, convenience-hungry customers with an offering that
is catered to their needs and preferences.

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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019

Contents
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 1
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 2
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - Contents
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 4
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 5
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 6
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 7
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 8
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 11
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 14
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 15
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 18
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 19
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 20
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 21
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 22
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 24
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 25
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 26
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 30
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 33
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Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 58
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