Empire to convert three Sobeys stores to Farm Boy

With the announced conversions, Farm Boy's store count in Ontario will reach 43 by the end of 2021

Farm Boy St Catharines exterior

Farm Boy’s ambitious Ontario expansion is picking up steam.

Its owner Empire Company Limited has announced plans to convert three existing Sobeys locations to Farm Boy. Sobeys stores in Oakville, Ottawa and Toronto will close this fall and reopen as Farm Boy in 2021.

Empire recently laid out a three-year growth strategy called Project Horizon–a followup to its Project Sunrise cost-cutting plan that kicked off in 2017. Empire said it would invest $2.1 billion to scale up e-commerce, expand its private label portfolio and continue its Farm Boy and FreshCo expansions.

“Farm Boy’s unrivalled fresh food offer and popular private label brand have connected tremendously with customers in Ontario,” said Empire president and CEO Michael Medline in a press release. “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.”

Farm Boy had 26 stores when it was acquired by Empire in 2018. At the time, Empire said it planned to double the chain’s store count with new builds and Sobeys conversions within five years. By the end of 2021, Farm Boy’s store count in the province, including new builds and conversions, will hit 43.

In addition to its Farm Boy announcement, Empire said it would convert one of its Sobeys stores in Brampton, Ont. to Chalo! FreshCo. It is scheduled to reopen in spring 2021.