Empire has announced the next three FreshCo stores in Alberta.
These Safeway-Sobeys conversions include: Jasper Gates in Edmonton; Lewis Estates in Edmonton; and Downtown Fort McMurray. In a press release, Empire said the stores would be open by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, bringing FreshCo's store count to 12 in the province.
"Customers in Alberta are welcoming FreshCo with open arms, thrilled to see a new and fresh discount option in their local markets," said Mike Venton, general manager, discount, in the release. "Our team of frontline leaders and store teammates in the West is committed to continue opening stores that deliver on our freshness, price and in-stock guaranteed promises. The customer response to our entry into the market gives us great confidence in our brand and marketing strategies."
In 2017, Empire Company announced it would expand FreshCo into Western Canada through the conversion of around 25% of its 255 Safeway and Sobeys full-service stores.
With this announcement, Empire has confirmed 40 of approximately 65 FreshCo locations planned for Western Canada. There are currently 28 FreshCo stores up and running across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Empire committed to opening 10 to 15 FreshCo stores per year, as part of Project Horizon, a three-year growth strategy it launched last year.
The Stellarton, N.S.-based company said store closure and conversion costs are approximately $6.3 million before tax and will be charged to earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.