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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

David Sobey, who helped remodel Sobeys into nationwide grocery juggernaut, lifeless at 92 | CBC Information Specific Instances

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A former president and CEO of Sobeys Inc. is being remembered for his function in remodeling the Stellarton, N.S., grocer from a regional enterprise right into a multi-billion greenback firm. 

David Sobey’s dying was introduced in a launch issued by Empire, the grocery store’s guardian firm, on Tuesday. He was 92.

The son of Frank and Irene Sobey, David grew to become a part of the enterprise at an early age, and for a few years, ran the corporate alongside his brothers William and Donald.

“David was an incredible grocer, an incredible retailer and an incredible businessman who was instrumental in guiding the exceptional development of Sobeys from a regional grocery chain, constructed by his father, right into a nationwide meals retailing and distribution enterprise that in the present day serves hundreds of thousands of Canadians on a weekly foundation,” mentioned Jim Dickson, chair of Empire within the launch.

When David was born in 1931, there have been just a few Sobeys shops within the nation, all situated close to the household’s hometown. 

Frank Sobey, centre, and his three sons, from left, David, Donald and William pose for a photograph to mark the seventy fifth anniversary of Sobeys in 1982. (Sobeys Inc.)

However on the time of his dying, the grocery store had grown to function over 1,500 shops throughout Canada bringing in roughly $31.5 billion in annual gross sales and using 131,000 folks, Empire mentioned. 

A Sobeys store.
A Sobeys retailer in Halifax, N.S. is seen on this file photograph from 2022. (Craig Paisley/CBC)
A Sobeys supermarket is seen in this file photo from 1970.
A Sobeys grocery store is seen on this file photograph from 1970. (CBC Archives)

Although the corporate has lengthy had grocery shops throughout Canada, David and his household remained steadfast in retaining its company headquarters in Stellarton the place all of it started. 

David served as chairman and CEO of Sobeys Inc. from 1986 to 1995, and chairman from 1995 till his retirement in 2001. He remained on the board of Empire till 2015.

He was additionally identified for his philanthropy, particularly his enduring affiliation with St. Mary’s College in Halifax, dwelling of the Sobey College of Enterprise, and the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Providers.

In 2019, he donated a private reward of $9 million to the varsity, as a part of a complete donation of $18 million from the Sobey Basis and Sobeys Inc., the most important donation to the college in its historical past. 

“We’re honoured to have had his assist and are dedicated to persevering with to nurture his imaginative and prescient for a vibrant retail sector in Canada,” the college mentioned in an announcement posted to its web site. 

On Tuesday afternoon in Canning, N.S., Premier Tim Houston expressed his condolences,

“It is a unhappy day for the household, it is a unhappy day for Nova Scotia and it was unhappy information for me personally,” Houston mentioned. “David was a really insightful individual and a really calming voice. I appreciated my interactions with him tremendously and I will miss him.”

David Sobey was predeceased by his mother and father and his two brothers, and leaves behind his spouse Faye, son Paul, daughter Janis, sister Dianne Sobey and 10 grandchildren and 18 nice grandchildren.

Funeral preparations will probably be introduced by the household at a later date.


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