At least five Manitoba grocery stores, including one Brandon location, will close over the next few months, victims of last year’s multi-billion-dollar sale to Sobeys.
This morning, Sobeys said it had completed a "detailed full review of its retail store network" and that dozens of stores across the country will close, the majority coming in western Canada.
"Based on this detailed review, Sobeys has determined that consistently underperforming retail stores, representing approximately 50 stores ...will close," the company said in a release.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union says 300 members were notified today their stores would close, likely in the fall. The move will affect at least 300 workers, though many will have bumping rights into other unionized stores that are short-staffed.
The five stores slated for closure are:
- The Maples IGA on Jefferson Avenue
- Safeway #707 on Ness Avenue at Sturgeon Road
- Garden City Safeway #712 on Leila Avenue at McPhillips Street
- The Safeway store in the mall at Killarney Avenue and Pembina Highway
- Safeway #628 in Brandon
- Safeway #622 in Steinbach
The UFCW says Sobeys is also closing a small cash-and-carry store in Thompson next month.
The closures are part of a remarkable round of grocery-market restructuring in Winnipeg and across Canada that has seen stores and warehouses mothballed or sold to other retailers such as Co-op.
The turmoil began a year ago when Sobeys acquired Safeway Canada and its 213 outlets for $5.8-billion and reached a deal with the Competition Bureau to sell some stores in Western Canada to avoid neighbourhood monopolies.
Safeway stores in Southdale, Grant Park, St. Vital and on Main Street were transformed into Red River Co-ops. It was widely expected that Sobeys would then look to shut some Safeway stores in saturated locations or where leases were expiring.