Sobeys continues B.C. rollout of FreshCo discount brand in Richmond

The Sobeys discount brand extends its foray into the province opening two stores in former Safeway locations.

The FreshCo store in Mission, which opened late last month. Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Retail heavyweight Sobeys extended the rollout of its discount grocery brand FreshCo on Friday, opening two more of the budget-friendly outlets in Richmond.

The stores are on No. 3 Rd. and on Blundell Rd. and their opening is part of Sobeys’ strategy to repurpose some of the 10 Safeway stores the Nova-Scotia-headquartered merchant closed in B.C. last year as competitors in the value segment of the market.

FreshCo’s marketing pitch to consumers includes price matching, reimbursing customers for products they are not satisfied with, and deeper discounts on advertised products not in stock as competition at the budget end of B.C.’s grocery market heats up.

Sobeys opened its first FreshCo location in Mission on April 25, which retail analyst Craig Patterson said looked like the start of “a bit of a grocery war,” in a Postmedia story published earlier this week.

Sobeys launched the FreshCo brand in 2010, which has expanded to 92 outlets in Ontario, and its plans include opening 11 in Western Canada, including Mission, Richmond, Aldergrove, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Ladner, Abbotsford and Surrey.

Patterson told Duggan that those locations appear to be a challenge to other discount grocers, such as Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore, where Safeway would be seen as a pricier option.

People enter a FreshCo store in Mission, the first of a dozen shops under that banner promised by Sobeys. Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Sobeys, which also owns Thrifty Foods in B.C., is controlled by the Nova Scotia-headquartered Empire Co., which bought the Safeway Canada chain, including 40 Lower Mainland stores, for $5.8 billion in 2013.

Empire CEO Michael Medline, in the company’s latest quarterly report, referred to its expansion of FreshCo as one of its “strategic building blocks,” which will see it convert up to one quarter of its 255 Safeway locations to the discount brand.

In January, Empire spent $35 million on voluntary buyouts of senior Safeway employees, as part of a government-approved deal, which gave the company the labour flexibility it needed to proceed with the FreshCo expansion, according to its quarterly report.

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Источник: Vancouversun.com

Источник: Corruptioner.life

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