The owner of Safeway grocery stores has announced it’s going to close 10 Lower Mainland locations, citing a growing consumer demand for discount stores.
The stores, from Vancouver to Mission, are set to shutter May 5, with the exception of City Square in Vancouver, which is set to close July 28.
“First, Sobeys squandered Safeway’s market share and sullied a well-loved B.C. brand,” Ivan Lampright, president of United Food and Commercial Workers local 1518, said. “Now they want to make our members pay for their mistakes? This isn’t about business: It’s about people’s lives.”
Sobeys’ parent company, Empire Co., has been in negotiations with UFCW 1518, which represents about 4,500 employees.
“It is no secret that many of our stores in B.C. have struggled in recent years,” said an emailed statement from a Sobeys spokesperson to Black Press Media. “Customer demand for shopping at discount stores continues to grow and we are not adequately serving this need in B.C. today.”
The company might turn at least five of the locations into FreshCo. discount stores, the email said, depending on the outcome of negotiations.
The following locations will be closing permanently:
· Safeway, Lougheed Mall, Burnaby
· Safeway, City Square, Vancouver
· Safeway, Sunwood Square, Coquitlam
· Safeway, Point Grey, Vancouver
· Safeway, Royal Oak, Burnaby
Pharmacy files are to be transferred to nearby locations.
The following locations will be closing, but may reopen as FreshCo.:
· Safeway, Blundell, Richmond
· Safeway, Broadmoor, Richmond
· Safeway, Newton Town Center, Surrey
· Safeway, Strawberry Hills, Surrey
· Safeway Mission
The pharmacies will remain open during the store closure, the email said, and during any necessary renovations in locations that may reopen as FreshCo locations.