The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that chief executive Michael Medline says Empire plans to focus on innovation as it wraps up a cost-saving effort that has exceeded expectations.
A Canadian Press dispatch to The Globe reports that Mr. Medline confirmed Empire would exceed its $500-million target after achieving $200-million in savings in the 2019 financial year.
The cost-saving program came after Empire bungled its $5.8-billion acquisition of Safeway in 2013. Empire promised to cut up to $500-million in costs, among other things, when it launched Project Sunrise in the fourth quarter of 2017.
With much of the heavy lifting done on cost cutting, Empire will now shift its attention to innovation, Mr. Medline said, saying it will focus on projects that will drive business.
"At this time, we are keeping these projects close to the vest for obvious competitive reasons," he said. Mr. Medline said the company will soon announce a new hire for the position of head of innovation.
Empire will also test some things in store and on-line early in this financial year that it hopes to eventually roll out across the business.
Empire's competitors are also focusing on data and technology to drive business.
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