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Safeway Is Closing 10 Major Locations Across Metro Vancouver

Safeway

Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr

It may be one of the most recognizable brands in the lower mainland; however, the owner of Safeway announced it is closing 10 of its locations.

Safeway is owned by Empire Co., an umbrella corporation that also owns Sobey’s. Apparently, the chain was having difficulty integrating Safeway difficult since acquiring it in 2013. As a result, it plans to shut down stores that it deemed were “consistently underperforming.”

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Sobey’s also shut 50 of its own underperforming stores in Western Canada in 2014, but only one was in BC.

Major stores that are closing include City Square and Point Grey in Vancouver, Lougheed Mall and Royal Oak in Burnaby, and Sunwood Square in Coquitlam. Five other closures will take occur in Blundell and Broadmoor in Richmond, Newton Town Centre and Strawberry Hills in Surrey, and Mission.

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Safeway Closures

Although exact details are unknown, the company has stated that some of these locations may reopen as a discount brand, FreshCo (see list of potential locations here).

This comes on the eve of bargaining between UFCW 1518 and Sobeys for all of its Safeway stores in British Columbia.

“This is an insult and an outrage,” said Ivan Limpright, president of UFCW 1518, which represents about 4500 Safeway employees. “First, Sobeys squandered Safeway’s market share and sullied a well-loved BC brand. Now they want to make our members pay for their mistakes? This isn’t about business: it’s about people’s lives.”

“Union local president Ivan Limpright says the closures affect almost 1,000 people. The company says it is working to arrange transfers to other stores, but an unspecified number of employees will lose their jobs,” reports News 1130.

The closures will commence on May 5th, and the exact details of employee compensation have yet to be determined.

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