The Canada Safeway store in the Trans Canada Centre will be closing on December 10.
Most employees were given the bad news on Wednesday that the store on 52 Street near 16th Avenue N.E. will be shutting down.
Keri Scobie, the Western Canada director of communications for Sobeys said this action is not part of the store closures which were announced in 2104.
“ Although a difficult decision to make, given the impact on customers and employees, it is part of regular course of business to review our store network to make sure we have the right store formats in the right markets. This store had been underperforming for quite some time and was no longer financially viable to keep operating. This was a strategic business decision and puts us in a better position for success in a very competitive market,” Scobie said in a statement sent to Global News on Sunday.
It’s not the news shoppers wanted to hear as they loaded their groceries at the Safeway Sunday morning. Seniors who regularly walk across the street to the Safeway were furious.
“Isn’t that disgusting,” Evelyn Currie said. “That’s why I bought this place, so I was close, because I’m older and all us older people go over there and shop continually. And it’s busy all the time.”
Shoppers who live in Marlborough Park within walking distance of the Safeway say this will be hard on people who don’t have a vehicle.
“The closest store is Co-Op on 68th and the Sobeys is on 17th so what happens to all those people who don’t drive? We are out of luck now so there’s got to be a way we can save it,” said Monique Charlton.
It’s not clear how many people will be transferred or laid off as a result of the closure. Staff who didn’t want to give their names said they were “surprised” and “heart-broken”. 112 employees are affected.
“We are currently working with employees and the union within the terms of the collective agreement,” said Scobie “We appreciate the loyalty and support of our customers and employees over the years. “
Long time shopper Monique Charlton says she feels terrible for staff who she says are like family to her. She is disappointed the company will be closing the store just 15 days before Christmas.
“Some of them found out today and some of them are just terrified. They may find jobs in different places. They said they would get moved but moved where? And what happens now? What happened to the ones that don’t get moved?
At least let us get all of our Christmas done. It’s a hard enough season already for everybody else and now you’re adding that to it. That’s not cool,” said Charlton.
Two years ago, Sobeys announced they would close around 50 underperforming stores across Canada, following its $5.8 billion acquisition of Safeway. Five Calgary stores were affected. The Trans Canada Centre Safeway was not one of those targeted in 2014.
Nova Scotia based Empire Co. Ltd. which is the parent of the Sobey’s chain, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $942.6 million earlier this year, in large part due to the takeover of Safeway.