Montreal, October 11, 2017 - METRO Inc. (TSX: MRU) announced today a projected $400-million investment over 6 years in its Ontario distribution network. The company will modernize its operations in Toronto between 2018 and 2023 by building a new fresh distribution facility and a new frozen distribution facility—both of which will leverage technological improvements like automation.
“This investment will enable METRO to continue its growth and expansion in the Ontario market,” says Eric R. La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Inc. “With a new and modernized supply chain infrastructure, we will be even more responsive to the needs of our customers.”
METRO’s existing distribution network in Toronto was built for the most part more than 50 years ago and no longer meets the evolving needs of the business.
“The new distribution centres will provide improved product assortment and selection accuracy as well as more flexibility which will allow us to improve service to our store network and customers,” states Carmen Fortino, Executive Vice President and Metro Ontario Division Head. “In addition, they will feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance efficiency.”
METRO currently operates six distribution centres in Ontario. Four centres are located in Toronto and two in Ottawa. Together, they provide employment to over 1,500 employees. METRO’s decision to modernize and automate a part of its distribution network will result in an anticipated loss of approximately 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions starting in 2021.
METRO acknowledges the impact its decision will have on these employees and their families.
“Working with our employees and our union, we will provide those who will be impacted by this decision with a range of transition measures to support them throughout the process,” says Fortino. “Fortunately, we have some time to plan the transition.”
With annual sales of $12.8 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
We have used, throughout this press release, different statements that could, under the regulations issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, be construed as being forward-looking information. In general, any statement contained herein, which does not constitute a historical fact, may be deemed a forward-looking statement. The use of future and conditional tenses are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. Expressions such as “projected”, “will”, “continue” and other similar expressions are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements do not provide any guarantees as to the future performance of the Corporation, the projected investment or the outcome of such projected investment and are subject to potential risks, known and unknown, as well as uncertainties that could cause the outcome to differ significantly. An economic slowdown or recession, or the arrival of a new competitor, are examples of risks described under the “Risk Management” section of the 2016 Annual Report which could have an impact on these statements. We believe these statements to be reasonable and pertinent as at the date of publication of this press release and represent our expectations. The Corporation does not intend to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by applicable law.
For further information:
Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Department