What Companies Does Empire Own: A Guide to the Business Empire’s Holdings

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Empire Company Limited stands as a testament to the expansive reach and diversity in the field of food retailing within Canada. It is a Canadian conglomerate, playing a significant role in the country’s market through its extensive portfolio of supermarkets and food stores. With a history rooted in providing an array of grocery options, Empire has established itself as a formidable presence in the food industry, catering to the varying needs of Canadian consumers.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc., Empire Company Limited showcases a dynamic brand portfolio that includes a mix of well-known supermarkets and specialty stores. The company’s network of brands, which encompasses names such as Safeway, IGA, Foodland, and FreshCo, positions Empire as a leading figure in the fiercely competitive food retail sector. Moreover, their involvement in real estate investments, particularly through entities like Crombie REIT, highlights the conglomerate’s multidimensional approach to growth and stability in the Canadian marketplace.

Key Takeaways

  • Empire Company Limited is a key player in the Canadian conglomerate landscape, primarily known for its flagship food retailing operations.
  • A diverse range of brands under Empire, including Sobeys and Safeway, addresses a broad spectrum of consumer needs across Canada.
  • The company’s subsidiaries and real estate investments mark its significant presence in both the retail and property sectors.

Company Overview

Empire Company Limited is a significant player in the Canadian market, with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1963. Headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Empire’s presence spans across the food retail industry.

History and Growth

Empire Company started as a small venture and has grown into a large conglomerate, primarily through its Sobeys supermarket chain. They have expanded their operations to include over 1,500 stores, encompassing various brands across the nation. This growth reflects the company’s strategic acquisitions and commitment to serving Canadian consumers.

Mission and Values

The core mission of Empire Company revolves around offering quality food, convenient locations, and exceptional shopping experiences. Their values emphasize community connections, fostering sustainable practices, and ensuring customer satisfaction. These ideals guide the daily operations of all their brands and resonate throughout their Canadian identity.

Empire’s Brand Portfolio

Empire Company Limited has established a substantial presence in the food retail and related real estate sectors through a diverse array of brands and subsidiaries. Each brand caters to different segments of the market, reinforcing Empire’s foothold across the Canadian landscape.

Sobeys Supermarket Chain

Sobeys Inc. serves as the flagship brand of Empire, boasting a wide network of supermarkets across Canada. Established in 1907, Sobeys has grown to become one of the largest food retailers in the country, with numerous locations offering full-service supermarkets.

Compliments and Private Labels

Empire’s dedication to providing quality and value is evident through its Compliments brand. This private label offers consumers a variety of products ranging from pantry staples to ready-to-eat meals, balancing quality with affordability.

Diversified Banners

Beyond its primary supermarket chain, Empire boasts a diverse portfolio of brands. This includes:

  • Thrifty Foods – operating mainly in British Columbia, they are known for their quality products and exceptional customer service.
  • Farm Boy – a subsidiary known for a fresh market shopping experience, offering fresh produce and specialty items.
  • FreshCo – a discount supermarket brand focused on budget-conscious shoppers, with various locations throughout Canada.
  • Foodland – community-minded grocery stores providing a personalized shopping experience, mainly found in rural locations.
  • Safeway – a well-established retail banner with a strong presence in Western Canada known for its quality food products.
  • Lawtons Drugs – a chain of community pharmacies located within many of the same regions.

Each of these banners reflects Empire’s commitment to variety, quality, and value, ensuring they offer a shopping experience that meets the needs and preferences of Canadian consumers.

Subsidiaries and Ownership

Empire Company Limited has a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries and a notable history of acquisition, solidifying its presence in the retail sector. They maintain a combination of wholly-owned subsidiaries and significant acquisitions that bolster their market position.

Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries

Sobeys Inc. serves as Empire’s core in food retailing, functioning as their backbone and a wholly-owned subsidiary. Within its umbrella, a variety of grocery banners across Canada operate, each catering to different segments of the market. Notably, Crombie REIT stands out as a key entity, managing a substantial portfolio of real estate, primarily leased to Empire’s subsidiaries.

These subsidiaries encompass:

  • Safeway: A prominent chain offering a range of groceries and household items.
  • IGA: Community-centric supermarkets tailored to local preferences.
  • Foodland: Neighborhood grocery stores serving smaller communities.
  • Farm Boy: Known for its fresh produce and specialty items.

Major Acquisitions

Empire’s strategic growth is partly due to its acquisition policy, where they’ve integrated complementary businesses into their network. A clear example of this approach is the acquisition of Hannaford Bros. Co., a supermarket chain that has expanded Empire’s reach.

The acquisition timeline highlights:

  • Acquiring Thrifty Foods, adding a premium brand to the portfolio.
  • Inclusion of Lawtons Drugs, broadening into pharmaceutical sales.

Empire’s approach to growth through acquisition demonstrates their adaptability and commitment to diversifying their offerings, all while maintaining strong ownership structures.

Real Estate Investments

Empire Company has made significant strides in real estate, concentrating on expanding its assets and investments in this sector. They’ve crafted a diverse property portfolio and established strategic partnerships to reinforce their market position.

Crombie REIT Partnership

Crombie REIT represents a critical component of Empire’s real estate investments. This alliance allows Empire to have a stake in a robust collection of properties, enhancing both entities’ growth. The partnership emphasizes strategic development and management of retail, commercial, and mixed-use properties, providing a stable investment platform within Empire’s broader portfolio.

Property Portfolio

Empire’s property portfolio reflects a commitment to diversification and strategic growth. The company’s real estate assets encompass a variety of sectors, from the traditional retail spaces associated with their grocery business to the more ambitious mixed-use developments. Through meticulous acquisition strategies, they have been able to accumulate a wide range of real estate investments, projecting stability and potential for long-term profitability.

Financial Performance

Empire Company Limited showcases a stable financial performance, reflected in its revenue and sales, as well as in the engagement with its shareholders. The company’s detailed financial statements and annual reports offer insights into its earnings trajectory and share price, which remain points of interest for investors and market analysts alike.

Revenue and Sales

Empire Company Limited reported significant revenue in its latest annual report, marking a continuation of its growth trend. Specifically, for the fiscal year ending May 6, 2023, the company recorded robust sales figures, reinforcing its position in the food retail industry. The majority of these sales were driven by its substantial network, which includes over 1,500 stores under various brands such as the widely recognized Sobeys supermarket chain.

Shareholders and Stock Information

Empire’s shares, trading under the ticker EMP.A on the Toronto Stock Exchange, indicate a sturdy shareholder confidence reflected in the stock’s resilient performance. It maintains clear communication with shareholders through regular updates on its financial outcomes and strategic initiatives. Empire’s responsive approach to stock information dissemination is crucial, helping investors track the share price and make informed decisions based on the latest financial data.

Corporate Governance


Corporate governance in Empire Company Limited is pivotal in ensuring that the entity sustains growth and operates ethically. It encompasses the practices and policies that dictate how the company is managed and overseen.

Board of Directors

Empire Company Limited’s Board of Directors plays a critical role in overseeing the company’s strategies and making decisions that touch on long-term value creation. The Board consists of a diverse group of individuals tasked with maintaining the trust shareholders place in them. They establish policies for management and provide oversight for the operation of the company.

  • Composition: The Board is made up of qualified individuals from various backgrounds.
  • Responsibilities: They are responsible for approving major strategies, monitoring risk, and ensuring the integrity of financial reports.

Company Management

The Company Management team of Empire Company Limited, led by the President, is charged with the day-to-day leadership of the enterprise. They are entrusted with the directive to align the company’s operations with the strategic frameworks set by the Board.

  • Executive Roles: Key figures like the President steer different departments towards achieving the company’s objectives.
  • Operational Oversight: Management handles the operational aspects, ensuring efficiency across the conglomerate.

In managing the company, these leaders exercise their roles with foresight and integrity, solidifying the foundation for Empire’s market presence.

Market Presence and Trends

Empire Company Limited stands as a significant player in the Canadian grocery sector, holding a considerable market share and continually adapting to the evolving retail landscape.

Canadian Market Dynamics

Empire’s notable presence in the Canadian market is exemplified by its extensive network of retail brands such as Sobeys, Safeway, and FreshCo. These brands span across the nation, serving Canadian communities with a focus on quality and variety. The company’s strategic expansions, like the growth of their discount network through banners such as FreshCo, have played a key role in meeting diverse consumer needs and staying competitive within the national grocery chain.

Industry Analysis

Empire’s continued investment in real estate, including its affiliation with Crombie REIT, underscores its industry foresight, balancing retail operations with property holdings. The company’s market capitalization reflects not only the value of its supermarkets and drugstores but also its adaptability and responsiveness to market trends. This multi-faceted approach, emphasizing both retail and real estate, indicates a comprehensive strategy for growth and stability within the dynamically shifting food retail industry.

Investor Information

The Investor Information section provides recent data on Empire Company Limited’s performance on the stock market and the breakdown of its ownership structure. Investors are typically interested in how the stock is trending, who truly owns the company, and the insights these details provide about Empire’s stability and growth potential.

Stock Performance

Empire Company Limited, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under TSE.A, has displayed various trends in its stock performance. The market capitalization of the company, which is a reflection of its valuation, stands at approximately CA$9.6 billion. Tracking its past earnings against analyst forecasts can offer insights into potential future performance.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

Ownership of Empire Company Limited is a mix of insiders, institutions, and the general public. Institutional investors often own a significant share in companies of this size, yet hedge funds have a relatively small stake in Empire. Insiders, including company executives and family members, contribute to a portion of the equity that reflects their vested interests in the company’s success. Meanwhile, Sumac Holdings Limited is reported to be the company’s largest shareholder with 12% of shares outstanding, indicating a notable level of private company ownership. The general public, including retail investors, owns a significant 41% stake, showcasing a considerable level of public ownership. The true owners of Empire Company Limited are a diverse group, which adds to the stability and distributes the influence over company decisions.

Sustainability and Community Engagement


Empire Companies showcases a firm commitment to sustainability and community engagement, emphasizing eco-friendly practices and contributions to social welfare.

Environmental Initiatives

Empire Companies prioritizes sustainability by integrating green protocols. For instance, the construction sector of the organization has gathered recognition for its dedication to sustainable building, notably through Empire Communities’ extensive heritage of green awards and a prominent venture into energy-efficient homes. These initiatives strive to lessen environmental impact and foster sustainable growth within the sector.

  • Empire Communities’ Environmental Achievements:
    • Over 35 Green Awards since 2007.
    • Advanced practices for eco-friendly home construction.
    • Focus on long-term reduction of greenhouse emissions, exemplified by landmark properties like the Empire State Building achieving a 54% reduction.

Social Responsibility

The company invests in community with true engagement strategies, realizing the powerful impact it has on social results. By empowering education and community development, Empire demonstrates deep social responsibility. It furthers this commitment by ensuring employees are actively involved in these endeavors, reinforcing the bond between corporate responsibility and community welfare.

  • Community Engagements & Education Highlights:
    • Facilitation of behavioral and social outcomes for improved public health and development outcomes.
    • Empowerment of communities through educational initiatives.
    • Employee participation in community-oriented programs.

Empire’s stance on incorporating natural ingredients in their consumer products division is another reflection of their sustainable approach, intertwining environmental consciousness with product offerings.

Empire in the News

Empire Company Limited has captured the attention of several news outlets with its substantial growth and acquisitions, making headlines in both local and international spheres.

Recent Headlines

  • Grocery Expansion: Empire’s notable presence in the food retail industry has expanded with the acquisition of over 1,500 stores including Sobeys supermarket chain, showcasing its strategic growth.
  • Brand Acquisitions: In the media segment, Empire Media Group, Inc. furthered its scope by acquiring a variety of knowledge entertainment and lifestyle brands.

Media Coverage

  • Analyst Insights: Financial news platforms like Simply Wall St often provide analytical insights into Empire Company Limited’s performance, highlighting the conglomerate’s influence in the market.
  • Investor Interest: Their expansion strategy and market insights make them a frequent subject of interest among investors and financial news sections across various media, emphasizing their importance in the retail domain.

Contact and Customer Service


Empire Company values clear communication and is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. They ensure multiple channels are available for customers to reach out, whether for inquiries, support, or feedback.

Contact Information

For immediate assistance, customers can contact Empire Company’s customer service team. The general customer support number is 1 (800) 483 – 6747, which can be used for inquiries across various services.

One can also reach out via email, with each department providing specific addresses for direct and efficient communication. Customer support is typically responsive and helpful, aiming to provide timely solutions.

Feedback Channels

Online Form:
Empire Company invites customers to submit feedback through an online contact form available on their website. This platform allows customers to conveniently provide comments or raise concerns.

Social Media:
They also maintain a presence on major social media platforms where customers may send messages or post public comments for a wider audience.

Empire Blue Support:
Specifically for health insurance services, Empire Blue, part of the Anthem family, offers dedicated support at 1-844-305-6963. They are available 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, seven days a week, except on major holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Empire Company Limited has a substantial portfolio of subsidiaries mainly in food retail, and its operations are significant in both Canada and the real estate sector.

What are the major subsidiaries of Empire Company?

Empire Company Limited is a Canadian conglomerate that owns and operates a range of food-retailing and related businesses, with Sobeys being its primary subsidiary.

Can you list the key grocery store chains operated by Empire Company?

Empire Company operates several key grocery store chains through its subsidiary, Sobeys, which include well-known names like Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, and Price Chopper in Canada.

How is Empire Company’s ownership structured in relation to Sobeys?

Sobeys operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited, which showcases a direct ownership structure where Sobeys is fully controlled and operated under the Empire umbrella.

What is the scope of Empire Company’s operations in the United States?

While Empire Company’s operations are predominantly Canadian, it has expanded to the United States through its subsidiary, The Empire Company LLC, which specializes in millwork distribution and manufacturing.

Who is currently at the helm of Empire Company as the Chief Executive Officer?

Michael Medline serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company, steering the conglomerate’s strategic direction and operations.

How does Empire Company position itself in terms of net worth and financial standing?

Empire Company is one of Canada’s leading companies, with a solid financial standing in the grocery and real estate businesses, including a presence on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol EMP.A.