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Dairy farm cold storage depot, now conserved and revitalised as Fringe Club
About Us


From Dairy Farm to Asia's Leading Retailer

The story of DFI Retail Group dates back to 19th century Hong Kong, when Scottish surgeon Sir Patrick Manson and five businessmen embarked on a venture to improve the health of the Hong Kong community by breeding imported cattle locally, and to ensure a daily supply of disease-free fresh milk at an affordable price - a challenging move as the herd had to adapt to Hong Kong's sub-tropical climate. From such modest beginnings, DFI has expanded and reinvented itself over the decades to become one of Asia's most dynamic and reputable companies. Today, DFI is primarily into retailing with a focus on supermarkets, hypermarkets, health and beauty stores, convenience stores, home furnishings stores and restaurants. The Group commands a leadership position in many key Asian markets and has upheld its principles for quality products, business integrity and commitment to the community. These historical milestones highlight key dates and events and are a record of the many defining moments in the making of a very unique and special company.


Sir Patrick Manson - founder of the Dairy Farm Company Limited
The Dairy Farm Company Limited is incorporated in Hong Kong by Scottish surgeon Sir Patrick Manson and five prominent Hong Kong businessmen, with a capital of HK$30,000 and 80 head of cattle. The Company's founding objectives were: to improve the health of Hong Kong people by supplying clean and uncontaminated cows' milk at an affordable price and to realise a profit for its shareholders.
Dairy Farm posts a profit of HK$3,385 in 1888, following a HK$13,187 loss in its first year. In 1889, profits improved to HK$4,374.
Central depot on Lower Albert Road
Dairy Farm establishes a Central depot in Lower Albert Road. The building now houses the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Fringe Club.
Dairy Farm starts importing butter from Australia.
Dairy farm provides pork, poultry and eggs
Dairy Farm starts rearing pigs and fowl to provide pork, poultry and eggs. It begins supplying in bulk to ships, hospitals and the military.
Dairy Farm opens its first retail store at Lower Albert Road. It begins importing frozen meat from Australia.
Dairy Farm buys Butterfield and Swire's frozen food business, its first major corporate acquisition.
Dairy Farm formed Hong Kong's first supermarket/delicatessen
Dairy Farm's central depot is reorganized to form Hong Kong's first supermarket/delicatessen.
Dairy Farm formed second store in Manson House
Dairy Farm opens a second store in Manson House, Nathan Road, Kowloon. It buys the Hong Kong Ice Company and changes its name to The Dairy Farm, Ice & Cold Storage Company Limited.
Dairy Farm ice factory at East Point
Dairy Farm builds a state-of-the-art ice factory at East Point.
Dairy Farm is producing 1,000 gallons of milk daily, as well as fresh meat, cream and ice cream
Dairy Farm is now producing 1,000 gallons of milk daily, as well as fresh meat, cream and ice cream. It operates six retail stores in Hong Kong and delivers to consumers in Macau and the major coastal Chinese cities.
Dairy Farm introduces protective capping on bottles
Dairy Farm's 50th anniversary. The Company introduces protective capping on bottles. This enhances its already renowned reputation for strict hygiene.
Dairy Farm opens new offices in the first Windsor House on Des Voeux Road, Central. Japan invades Hong Kong.
Dairy Farm quickly recovers from World War II
END OF WORLD WAR II. Hong Kong is liberated. Dairy Farm quickly recovers and records a net profit of HK$1,519,292.
Dairy Farm launches an aircraft catering kitchen at Kai Tak Airport
Dairy Farm launches an aircraft catering kitchen at Kai Tak Airport.
Dairy Farm and Lane Crawford merge their respective food retailing operations to form Dairy Lane Limited.
Dairy Farm acquires the Wellcome grocery chain
Dairy Farm acquires the Wellcome grocery chain founded in 1945 by Wu Chung-hai and Lau Lin. It buys out Lane Crawford's share of Dairy Lane Limited.
Dairy Farm begins its overseas expansion
1967 - 70
Dairy Farm begins its overseas expansion. It takes stakes in various Australian companies. It opens an aircraft catering kitchen in Guam, buys the Simarloo fruit and nut farm and a beef ranch in Australia, and expands its catering services to mining camps in Australia and Indonesia. It enters the wholesaling sector and extends its range of dairy products and frozen foods on sale.
Dairy Farm Is acquired by Hongkong Land. It retains its independence, its established operating structure and corporate personality. Phil Oram remains as Managing Director until his retirement in 1981.
Dairy Farm acquires Singapore-based Fitzpatrick's Food Supplies (Far East) Ltd.
Dairy Farm acquires 51 percent of Manning Dispensary Ltd, a chain of three pharmacies run by a Hong Kong medical practice. Central Depot reverts to the crown, ending its 72-year association with Dairy Farm.
Dairy Farm signs an agreement with the Kwangming farm in Shenzhen
Dairy Farm signs an agreement to obtain 18 tonnes of daily milk supplies from the Kwangming farm in Shenzhen. It acquires Franklins' chain of 75 "No Frills" stores in Australia.
Dairy Farm makes history by forging the first ever Sino-Foreign joint venture
Dairy Farm makes history by forging the first ever Sino-Foreign joint venture following Deng Xiaoping's Open Door reforms. The joint venture operates the flight kitchen for Beijing Airport.
Phil Oram retires. Owen Price takes over as Dairy Farm's Managing Director.
Dairy Farm's herd of cows at Pokfulam
The end of an era. Dairy Farm's herd of cows at Pokfulam are sold off. Dairy Farm begins disposing of its Australian farming and ranching interests.
Dairy Farm signs an ice-cream factory JV with the Guangdong Foods Industry Corp. to form the Guangzhou Refrigerated Foods Ltd.
Dairy Farm's centenary. In December, the Company is demerged from Hongkong Land and re-listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As part of the demerger, Dairy Farm takes over a 50 percent interest in Maxim's from Hongkong Land.
Dairy Farm acquires 25 percent of Kwik Save - the sixth largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. It begins supermarket operations in Taiwan.
Dairy Farm acquires the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores in Hong Kong
Dairy Farm acquires the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores in Hong Kong from Jardine Matheson. It sells the Simarloo Farm.
Dairy Farm acquires the 108-store Simago Supermarket chain in Spain and the 61-store supermarket chain, Woolworths, in New Zealand.
Dairy Farm opens five 7-Eleven stores in Shenzhen. It sells 51 percent of its dairy manufacturing businesses in Hong Kong and Guangzhou to Nestlé. Nestlé buys the Dairy Farm brand name and licenses it back to the Company for 50 years.
Dairy Farm buys Singapore Cold Storage
Dairy Farm buys Singapore Cold Storage with a network of 142 stores. Owen Price retires as Managing Director. Graeme Seabrook takes the reins.
Dairy Farm signs a letter of intent to set up three supermarkets in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and forms a 50-50 supermarket JV with Cold Storage (Malaysia).
Dairy Farm establishes four Wellsave supermarkets in Japan through a 60 percent-owned JV (closed in 1997). It opens five JV Wellcome Gintian supermarkets in Shenzhen (closed in 1999). Dairy Farm signs a Technical Assistance Agreement with RPG Spencers, which operates eight Foodworld supermarkets, in India. In Indonesia, it forges a Technical Assistance Agreement with Mitra, a chain of discount stores owned by the PT Hero group.
Graeme Seabrook retires. Chris Nelson is appointed interim Chief Executive.
Chris Nelson retires. Ronald J Floto is appointed Group Chief Executive. Dairy Farm opens a 50-50 JV health and beauty chain, Health and Glow, in India and reaches a Technical Assistance Agreement in Indonesia, with Rajawali, to run the Guardian pharmacy chain. It sells its remaining 49 percent stake in Nestlé Dairy Farm to Nestlé.
Dairy Farm buys 32 percent of PT Hero
Dairy Farm disposes of Kwik Save in the UK, the Simago chain in Spain and closes down Mannings in Taiwan. It buys 32 percent of PT Hero, a 71-store supermarket chain in Indonesia, and opens a Géant hypermarket in Taiwan, a JV with Casino of France. In Malaysia, it increases its stakes in the Wellsave supermarket chain and in the 59-store Guardian pharmacies giving it control of both.
Dairy Farm acquires 90 percent of Giant Malaysia with two hypermarkets and five supermarkets. In India, it acquires a 49 percent holding in the Foodworld supermarket chain.
Dairy Farm acquires 23 Apex stores in Singapore, which are folded into its Guardian operations
Dairy Farm sells its 50 percent interest in DFI Géant in Taiwan to JV partner, Casino. It acquires 23 Apex stores in Singapore, which are folded into its Guardian operations, and expands its supermarket operations in Taiwan with the acquisition of 12 Maysoon stores.
Dairy Farm completes the sale of Franklins and its Hong Kong-based wholesaling business, Sims Trading. It acquires the remaining 10 percent of Giant Malaysia. Its 65 percent-held JV, Guangdong Sai Yi Convenience Stores Ltd, becomes the first convenience store JV to obtain approval from the Central Government to operate in Southern China.
Dairy Farm forms a 50/50 JV with the CJ Corporation
Dairy Farm completes the sale of Woolworths, New Zealand. It forms a 50/50 JV with the CJ Corporation, investing US$5 million in the health and beauty chain, Olive Young in South Korea. It acquires IKEA Hong Kong and Taiwan from Jardine Matheson.
Dairy Farm acquires the 22-store Kayo supermarket chain in Taiwan. Its Indonesian associate, PT Hero, acquires 22 Tops supermarkets from Ahold. It also acquires 34 Tops supermarkets in Malaysia from Ahold, which are rebranded as Giant and Cold Storage. In Singapore, it acquires 35 Shop N Save supermarkets increasing its supermarket network to 75 stores.
Dairy Farm acquires the Daily Stop chain of convenience stores in Hong Kong
Dairy Farm acquires the Daily Stop chain of convenience stores in Hong Kong and rebrands them under the 7-Eleven name. It sells its last non-retail business, ice manufacturing.
Dairy Farm Increases its attributable interest in PT Hero in Indonesia to 69 percent following two tender offers and the purchase of a minority shareholding. In India, it introduces new JV partners in Foodworld and Health and Glow. It enters the Thai market with the opening of its first Guardian stores. 7-Eleven and Mannings enter the Macau market in the same year. Dairy Farm posts an underlying net profit of US$190 million.
Dairy Farm sponsors the conversion of two of the original octagonal cowsheds in the old Pokfulam farm into a performance area and cinema space
Dairy Farm's 120th anniversary. It marks the milestone by sponsoring the conversion of two of the original octagonal cowsheds in the old Pokfulam farm into a performance area and cinema space, named the Wellcome Theatre, by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The facility contains a 150-seat auditorium and an adjacent foyer/exhibition area.
Ronald J Floto retires. Michael Kok is appointed Group Chief Executive. 7-Eleven South China acquires 110 Quik convenience stores in Guangzhou rebranding them as 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven Hong Kong launches its new concept store focusing on fresh and fast food. A three-year refurbishment programme commences to convert the majority of the 822 outlets into the "fresh food" format.
Mannings China opens its first stores outside Guangdong province in Beijing City. During the year, Mannings China also extended its reach to Nanjing, Chongqing and Shanghai. The first Giant hypermarket was opened in Brunei, offering lower prices and greater choices for customers.
7-eleven South China opens its 550th store in New City Zhujiang, Guangzhou on 16th October. Mannings Hong Kong reaches a milestone by opening its 300th store in December.
Giant opens its first supermarkets in Brunei to complement existing hypermarkets and health and beauty stores.
Maxim's adds three Genki Sushi outlets in Shenzhen and Guangzhou
Maxim's opens its first Chinese restaurants in Shanghai and Guangzhou, and adds three Genki Sushi outlets in Shenzhen and Guangzhou during the year. In Vietnam, five new Guardian outlets are opened during the year. Dairy Farm's Indonesia business passes the 500-store milestone in the country during the year.
Dairy Farm enters the Cambodian and Philippines market
Michael Kok retires. Dairy Farm enters the Cambodian market through the acquisition of a 70% interest in a company that operates seven Lucky supermarkets and nine fast food outlets in the country. Dairy Farm also enters the Philippines market by acquiring a 50% interest in Rustan's Supercenters, which operates ten Shopwise hypermarkets, 13 Rustan's supermarkets and nine Expresslanes supermarkets.
Maxim's opens its first Starbucks store in Vietnam
Graham Allan is appointed Group Chief Executive. Shop N Save supermarkets in Singapore are converted to the Giant brand. Maxim's opens its first Starbucks store in Vietnam. A joint venture is established to operate mini-marts in Malaysia trading as 'G EKSPRES'. The first Guardian health and beauty store opens in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Dairy Farm acquire a 19.99% shareholding in Yonghui Superstores
Dairy Farm divests its 49% shareholding in Foodworld and 50% shareholding in Health and Glow to its joint venture partner. The Group acquires an additional 16% interest in Rustan in the Philippines, bringing its ownership to 66%. An agreement is reached to establish a strategic partnership with Yonghui Superstores Co., Ltd and to acquire a 19.99% shareholding in the company at approximately US$925 million. Dairy Farm enters the Philippines Health and Beauty market through the acquisition of a 49% stake in Rose Pharmacy Inc. The first IKEA store opens in Indonesia.
Dairy Farm  acquires the 15-store supermarket chain in Macau, San Miu
Dairy Farm meets the local regulatory requirements in Malaysia with the divestment of 30% of the ordinary shares in its food retail business, GCH Malaysia. Dairy Farm also acquires the 15-store supermarket chain in Macau, San Miu, reinforcing its well-established retail presence in the territory. Maxim’s launches operations in Cambodia as a franchisee of Starbucks at the end of 2015.
Dairy Farm launches the first mx cakes and bakery franchise through joint venture in Thailand
Maxim’s acquires the franchise of the Italian patisserie and restaurant COVA in Hong Kong and Macau. Maxim’s also opens the first “The Cheesecake Factory” restaurant in Shanghai Disney Resort and launches the first mx cakes and bakery franchise through joint venture in Thailand. IKEA creates new pick-up points in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to provide more convenient options for its customers closer to home.
Maxim’s opens its first The Cheesecake Factory in Hong Kong
Ian Mcleod is appointed Group Chief Executive. The Philippines Rustan becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary following the acquisition of the remaining interest from the Group’s joint venture partner. Maxim’s acquires the existing businesses and franchises of Genki Sushi in Singapore and Malaysia, and of Starbucks in Singapore. Maxim’s also opens its first The Cheesecake Factory in Hong Kong.
7-Eleven South China opens its 1000th store in Guangzhou and enters Maoming, Yangjiang, and Zhanjiang with presence in up to 11 cities in China.
IKEA Taiwan 100-dollar pop-up store
IKEA Taiwan opens the 100-dollar pop-up store in Taipei and Taichung to enhance the proposition of a low-price brand in the Taiwan market.
The Group launches a new Own Brand, Meadows, offering products with outstanding quality and value to customers. 7-Eleven Singapore marks a milestone by reaching 400 stores.
IKEA Taiwan celebrates its 25th anniversary and sets up the “Blue Bag Fund” in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, to support local communities, promote sustainable development, and improve the lives of the needy.
yuu launches
The Group launches yuu, the first digital platform and the biggest customer rewards club to connect customers and more than 2,000 outlets.
Wellcome launches “Low Prices Locked” programme in Hong Kong to shoulder the cost pressures with the community. Market Place completes brand revamp and introduces new store format to elevate shopping experience. Giant Singapore is store refreshed with a new brand logo and invests in price reduction on products. The Group completes the integration of Wellcome Taiwan and Carrefour. 7-Eleven South China expands its network to 1,400 stores in Guangdong province.
Mannings Community Pharmacy Service
Mannings launches Community Pharmacy Service in Hong Kong and begins its Own Brand transformation journey. Guardian launches concept store in Malaysia to celebrates its 53rd anniversary.
Maxim’s acquires the businesses and franchises of Starbucks in Laos.
Dairy Farm Group rebrands as the DFI Retail Group
Dairy Farm Group rebrands as the DFI Retail Group and launches new logo
The Group relaunches its Own Brand Yu Pin King to promise great quality, taste and price.
1st Wellcome Fresh_edit
The first Wellcome Fresh unveils in Kennedy Town, combining both traditional wet markets and supermarkets together.
WE CSR- Sik Jor Fan Mei_edit
Wellcome Hong Kong partners with Foodlink to launch the rice donation programme “Sik Jor Fan Mei” to provide healthy and nutritious food to those in need.
Market Place x IKEA opens the world’s first “IKEA Close to you” in Discovery Bay Hong Kong.
Cold Storage opens new flagship store, CS Fresh Gold, in Singapore.
7-Eleven Hong Kong reaches its 1000th store milestone.
Yuu SG
yuu Rewards Club expands to Singapore while yuu launches online shopping platform ‘yuu to me’ in Hong Kong.
7-Eleven South China celebrates its 30th anniversary. 7-Eleven Singapore’s first beachfront store opens on Sentosa Palawan Beach.
Meadows wins the Grand Gold presented by Monde Selection and another 130+ International Taste Quality Awards organized by International Taste Institute. Mannings Hong Kong celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Guardian launches “Together, Keeping Kids Clean and Healthy” community service programme across its Southeast Asia markets, as part of the #guardiancares initiative to help children from low-income families stay clean and healthy.
Giant, Cold Storage, CS Fresh in Singapore and Malaysia have expanded Hong Kong’s “Sik Jor Fan Mei” rice donation programme to Southeast Asia in the following year. Singapore launches "Have You Eaten?” with Food Banks and “Sudah Makan?” with The Lost Food Project in Malaysia to donate food to the needy.
7-Eleven Hong Kong launches “Sik Tak Fan La” charity programme in collaboration with Pei Ho Counterparts to offer hot meals and food supplies to the elderly and homeless.
7-Eleven's Own Brand, 7CAFÉ in Hong Kong introduces 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica coffee beans together with fully biodegradable paper cups and lids, living up to its commitment to “Good Coffee. Now Greener.”
IKEA Taiwan completes the installation of 740kWp solar panel on the rooftop of Kaohsiung IKEA Store, The system has the capacity to generate about 900,000kWh of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the electricity usage of 220 households for a year in Taiwan.
Scott Price is appointed Group Chief Executive.
Mannings launches “Helping Kids Grow Happier, Healthier, and Stronger” Charity Campaign with The Hub Hong Kong to improve nutrition and wellbeing of local unprivileged children.
Wellcome celebrates its 78th anniversary with great promotional offers. Market Place opens its largest flagship store in Hong Kong at The Wai.
7-Eleven “Sik Tak Fan La” charity programme expands to the Greater Bay Area to help reduce hunger.
Guardian Cambodia launches Guardiancares Programme by collaborating with a local non-profit organisation “Pour un Sourire d’Enfant” (PSE) to support the education of underprivileged children in Cambodia.
Cold Storage Singapore marks 120th Anniversary
Cold Storage celebrates its 120th Anniversary in Singapore, remaining steadfast in its commitment to putting the customers first always.
The Group becomes one of the first Asian retailers to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its near-term emissions reduction targets, aligned with its criteria and recommendations.
Wellcome HK first EV Truck
Wellcome becomes the first retail company in Hong Kong to introduce the European-made 24-ton Electric Truck, marking a pivotal step in the Group commitment to sustainable development.