Chinese grocery giant Sungiven is signalling its intention to expand into the Canadian marketplace by first opening new stores in Vancouver and then reaching out potentially to other urban markets in the country.
Terence Fong, senior vice-president of the chain, said the first store will open in the early part of November followed by other store openings in early December and in early 2020.
The company, which only has stores in China right now, is looking at up to 15 locations in B.C.’s Lower Mainland over the next few years.
When asked if the company expects to expand to other parts of Canada, Fong said: “Yes, in our minds. But first we want to make it in Vancouver first and then after that elsewhere in Canada.”
The first store will be in Vancouver’s City Square shopping centre near City Hall.
“We plan to open it in mid November,” said Fong. “That store will be about 14,000 square feet.
“We’re working on three stores in the Vancouver area.”
Fong said the company has 100 stores in China. There are no stores anywhere else right now.
“Vancouver is our first overseas destination. Our owners immigrated from China to Vancouver in 2004. So they are now Canadian,” said Fong.
Vancouver’s strong Asian population was a key reason why Sungiven decided to venture to Canada with its first international expansion.
“We believe there’s a niche market for us because we don’t see any Asian stores right now that is offering high quality at this moment. We don’t want to be like a big box. We are not a big box. We want to be focusing more on our quality and our price.”
According to its website, Sungiven is a grocery chain with private brand products, self-constructed channels such as retail stores and self-customized supply chains, covering business mainly of retailing, wholesaling, importation, exportation, E-commerce, especially of its own chain of retail stores as the core.
“Sungiven Foods is dedicated to providing foodstuff, which is natural, less processed and less artificially added at its best for families who love cooking, focus on safe food and health. Sungiven Foods runs at international standards and global marketing,” says the company, adding that its vision is to be a world-class food enterprise and its mission is to source globally to provide healthy daily meals of high quality and great value.”
Several of the company’s private labels will be sold in Canadian stores as well as its in-house non-GMO products.
The Sungiven retail stores were established in July 2011.
“Since the very beginning, Sungiven Foods has tied its fate to food safety together, positioning its food to be ‘natural, less processed and less artificially added at its best’,” says the company.
Its E-commerce site was established in July 2013.