Sobeys expands Rachelle Béry to Ontario and B.C.

A Safeway in Vancouver and a Sobeys store in St.


Sobeys is introducing its natural and organic focused Rachelle Béry banner to Ontario and B.C. next week.

Already well-known in Quebec, on Jan. 30 Rachelle Béry boutiques will be opened inside a Sobeys in St. Catharines, Ont. (343 Glendale) and inside a Safeway in Vancouver (2733 West Broadway).

While Rachelle Béry offers grocery and private label items in Quebec, the first two boutiques will not sell food or private label products. Instead, they will sell a more select assortment of products focused on natural and organic beauty, wellness and cosmetics, with the 1,200-sq.-ft. boutiques positioned adjacent to the existing in-store pharmacies.

“We're going to offer a range of clean beauty cosmetics and skincare products,” said Sobeys spokesperson Cynthia Thompson. “The products are natural, paraben-free, cruelty free, eco responsible, made from organic ingredients and proudly sourced in Canada.”

Since opening at the corner of Rachel and Berri in Montreal 30 years ago, Rachelle Béry has expanded to 11 standalone locations offering a full grocery shop, as well as 53 boutiques inside IGAs in the province. Sobeys bought Rachelle Béry in 2005.

Sobeys would not disclose future expansion plans outside Quebec. “We’ll be watching customer response to the first couple of locations closely,” said Thompson. “We’re excited about the potential that this department has, this brand has, outside of the Province of Quebec.”

The expansion is happening now as a result of the larger reorganization of Sobeys (aka “Project Sunrise”) that began in May 2017, said Thompson. Where previously Sobeys operated as five different regional businesses, today the company runs as a more integrated company with one merchandising team and one national operations team, for example.

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“We don’t operate as standalone regions anymore,” she said. “With that, we are able to look more objectively and more collaboratively at best practices across the country,” she said. “And that is the case here. Rachelle Béry was identified as a very successful brand in the Quebec market.

“We have the structure in place to make something like this work well. Whereas before we had separate standalone businesses were keen to develop their own ideas, but not necessarily working with the national view towards where the opportunities were across the country.”

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