Sobeys a Partner as Target Arrives

Article excerpt

Chains have food-distribution deal

You might think the newest combatant into Manitoba's grocery wars would be a direct threat to Canada Safeway, the Real Canadian Superstore and Sobeys.

Two out of three ain't bad.

The arrival of Target on Monday at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre, Southdale Centre and Brandon's Shoppers Mall was actually done in concert with Sobeys. The Nova Scotia-based grocer signed a long-term agreement with Target in the fall of 2011 to be its wholesale distributor for "select food and grocery products."

That includes frozen, dairy and dry foods, such as cereal and pastas, of both national brands and Target's own Archer Farms and Market Pantry banners. The retailing giant also carries prepared foods and sauces but does not sell fresh fruit or vegetables.

Sobeys has a coast-to-coast network of 23 food-distribution centres that will service Target's 48 stores it has rolled out in the past two months -- as well as 86 more that will be opened up before the end of the year -- in the same way it supplies its own network of 1,300 grocery stores.

"We wanted to leverage each other's distribution networks to reduce transportation expenses," said Target spokeswoman Lisa Gibson.

At the time of the 2011 announcement, Sobeys said the associated increased revenue and efficiencies from partnering with Target would lower its costs and strengthen its competitive position. …