Richmond's T&T Supermarket expands, plans new Canadian and U.S. stores

Loblaw Cos Ltd.-owned grocer to open in the U.S., and bolster its Ontario footprint

One of T&T Supermarket's early stores was on Keefer Street | Google Street View

Richmond-based Asian-themed grocer T&T Supermarket continues to announce new locations. 

The Loblaw Cos Ltd.-owned (TSX:L) retailer today announced plans to open a store in Kanata, Ontario, in what will be the grocer's second Ottawa-area store. Last month, the 33-store chain announced plans to open its first U.S. store in the Seattle, Washington suburb of Bellevue.

It opened a second Coquitlam store last year on June 1. Other stores that it opened last year were in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Founder Cindy Lee and her team opened T&T Supermarket's first store at Burnaby's Metropolis at Metrotown in 1993, and by 2009 had expanded the company to more than $500 million in annual revenue from 17 stores, including eight in Metro Vancouver, two in Calgary, two in Edmonton and five in Toronto. 

That was the year when Loblaw bought T&T Supermarket for $225 million, including $191 million in cash and the rest in preferred shares. 

Loblaw yesterday reported earnings for the quarter that ended June 17, and revealed that revenue was about $13.738 billion, up $891 million, or 6.9 per cent, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Its net profit available to shareholders was $508 million.

The company did not break out its sales or profit from T&T Supermarket (a division that in press releases sometimes calls itself T&T Supermarkets.)

Lee's daughter, Tina Lee, has been the company's CEO since 2014. Founder Cindy Lee recently released an autobiography, which has the English translation Be Brave and You Can Turn Your Life Around. She recently spoke about her new book with BIV's Diasy Xiong.