"The grand opening of the first Sobeys extra is a significant milestone in our journey to bring better food to all Canadians," said Marc Poulin, President & CEO, Sobeys Inc. in an official release. "Our new store concept offers customers an inviting atmosphere of food discovery while also offering many extras that will help customers to eat better, feel better and do better.
The store has an increased emphasis on produce, a large bakery, and an expanded section of prepared meals at Sobey's Kitchen (including oven baked pizza, a sushi bar, and a roast beef carvery.) The store's naturals department (the aisles are colour coded in light green) features over 4,000 organic foods, natural healthcare products, gluten-free items, and vitamin supplements. A special events centre will host events by a team of food and health experts.
The Canadian grocery sector has been in a period of tremendous pressure and consolidation. Sobeys recently acquired Safeway stores in Western Canada, Metro is closing some stores while converting others to Food Basics, Loblaw announced its purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart, and all grocers are bracing for intense competition from an expanding Walmart and new entrant Target.
[Images via Sobeys]