Sobeys Inc. is Canada’s second largest food retailer, with over 260 supermarkets operating in Canada and around 1,500 under a variety of banners, including Safeway Canada. Sobeys is based in Stellarton, Nova Scotia Canada and has over 100,000 employees.

Key Metrics


  • Streamlined 35+ websites
  • Implemented a caching strategy
  • Homepage queries down from over 800 to 275


Sobeys new website caching strategy improved fragmentation by 99% from 2,000,000 records down to ~3,000. Wins such as reduction of homepage database queries by 65% resulting in faster response times, are a regular occurance. FlowPress streamlined 35 websites, with 35 different development process, into one single system.


When Sobeys approached FlowPress, their 35+ web properties, including Sobeys, Foodland, and Safeway, were experiencing slow loading times and difficulty in modernizing development workflows.

Sobeys challenged FlowPress to start with a technical audit of their main web property at to discover what the true issues were that were causing the consistent slowness.

Once the technical audit was complete, FlowPress completed a process audit to understand the way in which the internal technical teams were managing the web properties. The benefit of a process audit is that it typically exposes room for efficiency with the end goal of making development teams and managers lives easier.

The results of our technical audit showed several issues leading to performance issues.

A combination of legacy code, a poor caching strategy, and too many calls across key pages had resulted in an installation that struggles to keep speed and perform to user expectations.

The FlowPress Process Audit exposed a development workflow that lacked Git and a CD/CI system, causing internal team member stress.


Phase One: Dev Workflow Improvements

FlowPress introduced a Git-centric workflow to the team at Sobeys. This process pulled FTP and “file-passing” out of the picture and allowed the internal developers to work on the same projects, at the same time, without having to coordinate file changes or risk overwriting each others commits.

The next piece of the puzzle was to implement a Build System. Before FlowPress performed it’s Process Audit, the team at Sobeys would work on each digital property within a vacuum. With all development operating in a silo, it was difficult for developers to switch tasks, and keep track of their efforts.

Based on the unique needs of the client, FlowPress selected Circle CI as the build system that best suited the needs of Sobeys. After the implementation of the build system and the technical training provided by FlowPress, the development team at Sobeys could now work on any of the 35+ web properties within a single build system!

Phase Two: Optimizations

Once the process optimizations were in place, it was time to begin work on performance optimization on the clients marquee site

FlowPress implemented a new caching strategy to improve end user experience. This caching fragmentation strategy resulted in a reduction of fragmentation from 2,000,000 records to 3,000.

Next, FlowPress worked through reducing the number of database queries that were being whenever a user hit the website.

Work with us

If you like what you see, get in touch to find out how we could help your current website system perform much, much better. For today and tomorrow.


Ongoing Projects

Throughout the project, FlowPress has provided an array of services including:

  • A full performance audit of the current sites
  • User Experience consulting
  • WordPress plugin and integration development
  • Integration of version control
  • Hosting setup
  • Custom Development
  • Ongoing updates and management

Ongoing Services

24/7 Monitoring for uptime and CSS

Code reviews for other agency partners

Ongoing maintenance and plugin updates

Custom Development


Host vendor management