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Thread: Canada Safeway sold to Sobeys

  1. #401
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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    I wouldn't think this would have anything to do with distribution and warehousing. The Calgary head office building for Safeway is quite large. I would expect that they would be losing much of their head office duplication to Sobey's head office in the GTA (or wherever they are). Now they have a large building with a lot of capacity where as their Edmonton location probably doesn't have that capacity.

    Still sucks. I pretty much quit shopping at Safeway when they moved the Alberta Division to Calgary in 1994. I will never use Shaw since they moved. Guess it is Sobey's turn. I vote with my wallet. Too bad more don't.
    So you justify boycotting companies that move operations out of Edmonton, but then give those dollars instead to a company that likely has never had any sort of presence in Edmonton, or even Alberta at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^not sure, how much is done in the regioinal office versus head office anyway?
    Back in the day the Alberta division at Safeway had a lot of autonomy, choosing sale items, producing advertising for ROP and flyers. It had a positive effect on the graphics industry in Edmonton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    I wouldn't think this would have anything to do with distribution and warehousing. The Calgary head office building for Safeway is quite large. I would expect that they would be losing much of their head office duplication to Sobey's head office in the GTA (or wherever they are). Now they have a large building with a lot of capacity where as their Edmonton location probably doesn't have that capacity.

    Still sucks. I pretty much quit shopping at Safeway when they moved the Alberta Division to Calgary in 1994. I will never use Shaw since they moved. Guess it is Sobey's turn. I vote with my wallet. Too bad more don't.
    So you justify boycotting companies that move operations out of Edmonton, but then give those dollars instead to a company that likely has never had any sort of presence in Edmonton, or even Alberta at all?
    Not sure where you get the idea that I buy stuff from places that don't have a presence in Edmonton or even Alberta. I don't buy groceries over the internet, I actually buy very little over the Internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    I wouldn't think this would have anything to do with distribution and warehousing. The Calgary head office building for Safeway is quite large. I would expect that they would be losing much of their head office duplication to Sobey's head office in the GTA (or wherever they are). Now they have a large building with a lot of capacity where as their Edmonton location probably doesn't have that capacity.

    Still sucks. I pretty much quit shopping at Safeway when they moved the Alberta Division to Calgary in 1994. I will never use Shaw since they moved. Guess it is Sobey's turn. I vote with my wallet. Too bad more don't.
    So you justify boycotting companies that move operations out of Edmonton, but then give those dollars instead to a company that likely has never had any sort of presence in Edmonton, or even Alberta at all?
    Not sure where you get the idea that I buy stuff from places that don't have a presence in Edmonton or even Alberta. I don't buy groceries over the internet, I actually buy very little over the Internet.
    I meant an office/major distribution presence, which is apparently what has got you so an upset.

  5. #405

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    Sobeys at 23rd ave and rabbit hill road is closed and the building up for lease.

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    I wonder if they will allow another grocer into the building?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    Sobeys at 23rd ave and rabbit hill road is closed and the building up for lease.
    Is the Sobeys liquor store still there?

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    Yes only the grocery store is gone

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    Just to rub some salt in the wound of downtown Edmonton - Sobey's Urban Fresh just had their grand opening in downtown Ottawa. And in an apparent history rewrite or just plain ignorance, the store manager thinks the Urban Fresh Concept has never existed outside Toronto.
    http://www.theepochtimes.com//n3/136...ottawa-centre/

    The new Sobeys Urban Fresh store at Metcalfe and Lisgar, whose grand opening was held on May 22, fills a much-needed gap in the grocery shopping options for the area.

    “You know what, the downtown core has been screaming for this for years. Even my staff who live in this area have come to me and said, ‘You know, we’ve been waiting so long, we’re so happy to be here,'” said store manager John Leblanc.

    The 20,000 square-foot store, designated an Urban Fresh as it is slightly smaller than a full-size store, carries a full line of products including a noodle bar, a sushi bar, and a café that can be accessed from the street without walking through the store proper. The company partnered with Jamie Oliver to offer grilling tips, food advice, and some of Oliver’s branded cookware.

    A group of people gathered for the opening, with residents welcoming the store’s convenient downtown location. The first person in the line to enter the new store was local resident Dane Atkinson, who arrived before 6 a.m.

    “This is a lot closer commute from my home than, say, Hartman’s would be,” he said.

    Leblanc, along with many Urban Fresh employees, welcomed everyone to the opening and talked about some features of the store.

    “Thank you all for coming out to help celebrate on this special day. It’s special because this is the first Sobeys Urban Fresh outside of Toronto and in our nation’s capital. Designed with the urban shopper in mind, we have taken some of the best elements of our full-service format stores such as in-store experts like our cheese ambassador and wellbeing counsellors and made them available right here in downtown Ottawa,” he said.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ... I guess they don't count the urban store still operating across from the uofa hospital.
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    I used to shop at Sobey's, but not so much any more. Not out of spite because they closed the Downtown location, or is moving their distribution centre to Calgary.

    Their quality of fruits, veggies, meats, have gone down the toilet lately. I find their stores not as clean as usual, and their washrooms...yuck.

    I like Save On Foods better.
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    Default Sobeys reorganizes its western business

    "In an internal memo dated April 29, obtained by Canadian Grocer, Sobeys’ president and CEO Marc Poulin said the “majority” of national support functions now in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg would move to the new unit’s headquarters in Calgary"

    http://www.canadiangrocer.com/top-st...business-53017

    Sometimes I feel that in situations like this we can't win for trying. I was hopeful that this would go the other way.

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    That place is a headquarters magnet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    That place is a headquarters magnet.
    OMG!!!! We lost the bid to be the host city of the "Sobey's Western BU.!!"" Serious? Who cares if Calgary got it......it's a non issue...let them have the 12 or so positions that pay 6 figures.....lol

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    All those little headquarters add up, and each one solidifies their position as the "go to" city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maclac View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    That place is a headquarters magnet.
    OMG!!!! We lost the bid to be the host city of the "Sobey's Western BU.!!"" Serious? Who cares if Calgary got it......it's a non issue...let them have the 12 or so positions that pay 6 figures.....lol
    edmonton is losing a damn site more than 12 or so positions and it's no laughing matter even if it is fait accompli. we have a pretty poor record of attracting and retaining not only head offices but regional offices, business units, distribution centres... and it's not just the direct jobs which are counted in the hundreds, not in the dozens. it's the spouses and children and family visits and houses bought and the purchasing of everything from hair cuts to groceries to furniture and cars. it's the removal of volunteer time and corporate as well as personal support for charities and community groups. who cares? we all should.
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    Well we should all care I have to wonder what the solution is.

    The PCs spent the last 43 years making Calgary a business centre. It would be great to find out how much they spent doing so.

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    I've been hearing about Calgary being a HQ-magnet for years now, as well as the loss of head offices from Edmonton. Not just for O&G, but for distribution, food, etc. And also hearing of PC's encouraging head offices to set up shop in Calgary (still haven't seen any hard proof of this...)

    So what's stopping Edmonton and EEDC from preventing HQ leakage? We've got billions of dollars of construction going up in downtown with 40-60 storey office/residential towers - how come we can't attract more head offices and/or regional offices to set up shop here?

    Maybe Edmonton is just happy with government jobs, university jobs, and a small smatter of construction and consultant head offices?

    Either way, I don't get it. The city is doing extremely well in many regards - just can't seem to attract or retain offices here. Forget a head office - can't even hold a distribution centre.
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    You weren't here for the 80's & 90's I'm guessing.

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    Part of the problem is also that because there are so many head offices in Calgary a company looks at that and may want to set up shop there just because there are all the head offices believing that there is a reason that they should be there. Edmonton unfortunately has to work a whole lot harder to attract head offices.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    You weren't here for the 80's & 90's I'm guessing.
    Nope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    I've been hearing about Calgary being a HQ-magnet for years now, as well as the loss of head offices from Edmonton. Not just for O&G, but for distribution, food, etc. And also hearing of PC's encouraging head offices to set up shop in Calgary (still haven't seen any hard proof of this...)

    So what's stopping Edmonton and EEDC from preventing HQ leakage? We've got billions of dollars of construction going up in downtown with 40-60 storey office/residential towers - how come we can't attract more head offices and/or regional offices to set up shop here?

    Maybe Edmonton is just happy with government jobs, university jobs, and a small smatter of construction and consultant head offices?

    Either way, I don't get it. The city is doing extremely well in many regards - just can't seem to attract or retain offices here. Forget a head office - can't even hold a distribution centre.
    The last company we lost was AEC when it merged with PanCanadian to form Encana during Bill Smith's mayoralty. Before that was Telus.

    That's a pretty long run of retention, I'd say.

    A lot of people didn't know or at least didn't speak about how close we were with Stantec, but that conversation has been emphatically punctuated, so yeah, I think we're doing better.

    Air service was a huge part of the situation, but we're very close to optimal service now (London year-round, New York, Mexico City, and something in Asia are really just wants more than needs) and the other huge weakness was Downtown, which is now on the best track it's ever been on.

    I don't think we're out of the woods quite yet, but I wouldn't rule out business attraction becoming "a thing" in the next decade.

    I say this as someone who saw the worst.
    Last edited by JayBee; 02-07-2015 at 09:08 AM.
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    I'd like to be a fly on the wall in one of those board rooms when they decide "let's consolidate all our offices in Calgary" and just hear what the reasoning is behind that decision.

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    Wasn't Canada Safeway already headquartered in Calgary? I don't know if Sobey's shut that office down or hired new people, but would make sense Calgary would have an edge already to have the HQ there.

  25. #425

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    I've been hearing about Calgary being a HQ-magnet for years now, as well as the loss of head offices from Edmonton. Not just for O&G, but for distribution, food, etc. And also hearing of PC's encouraging head offices to set up shop in Calgary (still haven't seen any hard proof of this...)

    So what's stopping Edmonton and EEDC from preventing HQ leakage? We've got billions of dollars of construction going up in downtown with 40-60 storey office/residential towers - how come we can't attract more head offices and/or regional offices to set up shop here?

    Maybe Edmonton is just happy with government jobs, university jobs, and a small smatter of construction and consultant head offices?

    Either way, I don't get it. The city is doing extremely well in many regards - just can't seem to attract or retain offices here. Forget a head office - can't even hold a distribution centre.
    The sheer amount of new schools and hospitals they build down there to attract people to Calgary is one thing. And then to make sure the world knows how awesome Calgary is, for every 10 pages Travel Alberta publishes on Calgary, there might be one for Edmonton.

    But to be fair, the PCs did close a correctional facility in Calgary and relocated all the convicts up to Edmonton; and they also keep building awesome new jails up here so we got a few more jobs in the process.
    Last edited by B.ike; 02-07-2015 at 12:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmart81 View Post
    Wasn't Canada Safeway already headquartered in Calgary? I don't know if Sobey's shut that office down or hired new people, but would make sense Calgary would have an edge already to have the HQ there.
    yes, canada safeway's business unit was in calgary

    and sobeys' business unit was headquartered here occupying close to 100,000 sf of suburban office space.

    and it's not only the business operations and the local economy that will be negatively affected here. it's our attractiveness for future investment and investor confidence in deciding between edmonton and calgary:

    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...r-24-5-million
    Last edited by kcantor; 02-07-2015 at 06:50 PM. Reason: inserted "business unit" for clarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    I'd like to be a fly on the wall in one of those board rooms when they decide "let's consolidate all our offices in Calgary" and just hear what the reasoning is behind that decision.
    The big clue is in your quote. Other considerations would include, superior regional, national and international logistical connections, infrastructure, business "community", recruitment and retention of staff, general location, the list goes on...
    "The only really positive thing one could say about Vancouver is, it’s not the rest of Canada." Oink (britishexpats.com)

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    Sure, but couldn't they just as easily consolidate in Edmonton?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Sure, but couldn't they just as easily consolidate in Edmonton?
    May I be so bold as to refer you to the rest of my post.
    "The only really positive thing one could say about Vancouver is, it’s not the rest of Canada." Oink (britishexpats.com)

  30. #430

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jmart81 View Post
    Wasn't Canada Safeway already headquartered in Calgary? I don't know if Sobey's shut that office down or hired new people, but would make sense Calgary would have an edge already to have the HQ there.
    yes, canada safeway's business unit was in calgary

    and sobey's was headquartered here occupying close to 100,000 sf of suburban office space.

    and it's not only the business operations and the local economy that will be negatively affected here. it's our attractiveness for future investment and investor confidence in deciding between edmonton and calgary:

    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...r-24-5-million
    Yes Sobey's sold their bldg. on St. Albert trail and will relocate some of the staff to their Safeway bldg. in Calgary. This has nothing to do with losing head offices as this location in Edmonton was not a head office but a regional office. The Safeway folks in power positions won the power struggle in Moncton. Staff at Sobey's left power positions in Edmonton, so the move to Calgary was a given now that the higher ups were in Safeway's regional Calgary office. On a positive note Save-on foods is in the process of building their Alberta distribution center in Acheson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJFA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jmart81 View Post
    Wasn't Canada Safeway already headquartered in Calgary? I don't know if Sobey's shut that office down or hired new people, but would make sense Calgary would have an edge already to have the HQ there.
    yes, canada safeway's business unit was in calgary

    and sobey's was headquartered here occupying close to 100,000 sf of suburban office space.

    and it's not only the business operations and the local economy that will be negatively affected here. it's our attractiveness for future investment and investor confidence in deciding between edmonton and calgary:

    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...r-24-5-million
    Yes Sobey's sold their bldg. on St. Albert trail and will relocate some of the staff to their Safeway bldg. in Calgary. This has nothing to do with losing head offices as this location in Edmonton was not a head office but a regional office. The Safeway folks in power positions won the power struggle in Moncton. Staff at Sobey's left power positions in Edmonton, so the move to Calgary was a given now that the higher ups were in Safeway's regional Calgary office. On a positive note Save-on foods is in the process of building their Alberta distribution center in Acheson.
    my reference was to sobeys' business unit, not their head office. i will edit the initial post to make that clearer. and they didn't sell the building. it was sold from one investment group to another based on their tenancy...
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  32. #432

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TJFA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jmart81 View Post
    Wasn't Canada Safeway already headquartered in Calgary? I don't know if Sobey's shut that office down or hired new people, but would make sense Calgary would have an edge already to have the HQ there.
    yes, canada safeway's business unit was in calgary

    and sobey's was headquartered here occupying close to 100,000 sf of suburban office space.

    and it's not only the business operations and the local economy that will be negatively affected here. it's our attractiveness for future investment and investor confidence in deciding between edmonton and calgary:

    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...r-24-5-million
    Yes Sobey's sold their bldg. on St. Albert trail and will relocate some of the staff to their Safeway bldg. in Calgary. This has nothing to do with losing head offices as this location in Edmonton was not a head office but a regional office. The Safeway folks in power positions won the power struggle in Moncton. Staff at Sobey's left power positions in Edmonton, so the move to Calgary was a given now that the higher ups were in Safeway's regional Calgary office. On a positive note Save-on foods is in the process of building their Alberta distribution center in Acheson.
    my reference was to sobeys' business unit, not their head office. i will edit the initial post to make that clearer. and they didn't sell the building. it was sold from one investment group to another based on their tenancy...
    Oh ok...I thought Empire REIT sold it cause Empire holds most of the Sobey's properties

  33. #433

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    Sobeys at 23rd ave and rabbit hill road is closed and the building up for lease.
    Looks like they're doing some construction inside the old Sobeys/part of the parking lot is fenced off, near the main entrance. New tenant soon? Such a waste of space at a busy intersection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypher View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    Sobeys at 23rd ave and rabbit hill road is closed and the building up for lease.
    Looks like they're doing some construction inside the old Sobeys/part of the parking lot is fenced off, near the main entrance. New tenant soon? Such a waste of space at a busy intersection.
    That's very interesting. My parent still live in Riverbend and had heard a rumour a while back that the building would be taken down and replaced with something else. I know there are a lot of grocery options in the area these days but I've always thought something like a T&T or maybe even a second Whole Foods could work well there due to its decent-sized parking lot and relative proximity to the Henday

  35. #435

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    Quote Originally Posted by DClan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cypher View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Perspective View Post
    Sobeys at 23rd ave and rabbit hill road is closed and the building up for lease.
    Looks like they're doing some construction inside the old Sobeys/part of the parking lot is fenced off, near the main entrance. New tenant soon? Such a waste of space at a busy intersection.
    That's very interesting. My parent still live in Riverbend and had heard a rumour a while back that the building would be taken down and replaced with something else. I know there are a lot of grocery options in the area these days but I've always thought something like a T&T or maybe even a second Whole Foods could work well there due to its decent-sized parking lot and relative proximity to the Henday
    Construction has now progressed outside. The iconic Sobey's pyramid roof on the main entrance has been demolished. Still not sure who's moving in

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    Has anyone heard anything regarding who will be moving in here or whether it will be one tenant or many? Much of the outer shell of the building has been taken down and you can see all the steel framing on the inside of the building. There are no signs on the fencing to give any clue of what's happening. Perhaps it's being split up into multiple bays? I'm not sure why it was necessary to remove so much of the exterior though.

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    Article on Sobeys' attempts at cutting produce prices at both banners:

    http://www.canadiangrocer.com/top-st...e-prices-61706

  38. #438

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    Quote Originally Posted by bornandraised View Post
    Has anyone heard anything regarding who will be moving in here or whether it will be one tenant or many? Much of the outer shell of the building has been taken down and you can see all the steel framing on the inside of the building. There are no signs on the fencing to give any clue of what's happening. Perhaps it's being split up into multiple bays? I'm not sure why it was necessary to remove so much of the exterior though.
    GoodLife Fitness is moving into the old Sobey's on Rabbit Hill Road/23rd Ave. Signs are up and the entire exterior is almost completely done renovations.

    I'm disappointed, and it's kind of weird having a location there since the Terwillegar Rec. Centre is just down the road.

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    From what friends and family tell me in that area, a more expensive private gym would be welcome because the community one is often overrun with teenagers that hog equipment and generally act their age.

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    Sobeys parent Empire posts massive $942.6-million loss amid Safeway struggles

    TORONTO — The parent company of grocery retailer Sobeys Inc. has a lingering, severe case of indigestion in the wake of its acquisition of the Western Canadian Safeway chain three years ago, posting a huge quarterly loss Wednesday, taking a $1.3-billion impairment charge and sending its stock into a tailspin.

    At the end of the day, Empire Co. Ltd. shares plunged nearly 10 per cent as executives admitted there is much work to be done in order to remedy problems in its supply chain, tweak its house-branded private label products and find the right pricing mix at its stores.

    “It’s not simple promotional fixes that will get the job done,” said Empire’s CEO Marc Poulin on a morning conference call with analysts. “It’s more fundamental changes that will adapt the business for our customers.”

    Canada’s second largest grocer has suffered amid stiff competition from lower-priced discount chains, such as No Frills and Walmart, particularly in areas of the country where consumers are feeling the oil industry downturn.
    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...eway-struggles

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    I find that kind of funny. Greed gone wrong never fails to amuse me.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 30-06-2016 at 02:24 PM.

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    'Canada’s second largest grocer has suffered amid stiff competition from lower-priced discount chains, such as No Frills and Walmart, particularly in areas of the country where consumers are feeling the oil industry downturn.'

    Quote from above.

    Basically Safeway's main market area.

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    Word is their CEO has suddenly left the company after word of the losses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    'Canada’s second largest grocer has suffered amid stiff competition from lower-priced discount chains, such as No Frills and Walmart, particularly in areas of the country where consumers are feeling the oil industry downturn.'

    Quote from above.

    Basically Safeway's main market area.
    I don't believe Safeway has ever been in the "value" market so much as "service". Their prices have always been mid to high end.
    YEG lifer. Phillips liver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdmenzel View Post
    Word is their CEO has suddenly left the company after word of the losses.
    How embarrassing for him.

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    Should we surprised. The cost of living has increased beyond the means, so the majority has awaken, but Safeway didn't. It wasn't like they were busy prior to the take over. Their demise was completely obvious by the lack of patrons the last decade. Your middle class has declined significantly. When most live on credit cards what does that tell you? I'm no genius, and even a chimpanzee would have figured this out.

  47. #447

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    I wonder what their justification/push was to purchase Safeway.

  48. #448

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    I wonder what their justification/push was to purchase Safeway.
    I think they believed they could dictate and monopolize the market. Buy compitition to have your two enterprise compete with each other? Safeway, prior to the take over, was already on the verge of needing CPR anyways. So, i share your sentiment...

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    They couldn't have possibly believed that by buying Safeway that they could monopolize the market. They likely felt that they could expand their market reach and solidify their place in the market but they overpaid.

  50. #450

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    Absolutely! I was refeeing to the combined catchment . Both places are high priced. The products there and Superstore are packaged in the same place .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Should we surprised. The cost of living has increased beyond the means, so the majority has awaken, but Safeway didn't. It wasn't like they were busy prior to the take over. Their demise was completely obvious by the lack of patrons the last decade. Your middle class has declined significantly. When most live on credit cards what does that tell you? I'm no genius, and even a chimpanzee would have figured this out.
    Safeway was never super expensive - it was positioned as a high quality, mass market, fairly priced option.

    Unfortunately Sobeys has run it into the ground.

    The produce is still poor quality. Shelves are helter-skelter, not tidy. Store looks like a mess with half Sobeys font/visual identity, half Safeway. Display lights are burned out. Product selection has narrowed - people are loyal to a brand and are not going to just buy anything. However, I will say that Sobeys/Safeway's prices are somewhat competitive at present. People have forgotten that for many years Edmonton was known as one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country... why? Safeway. They were ruthless operators. Sobeys just can't compete in terms of supply chain, efficiency, produce quality, own-label quality perception, or customer knowledge (they cancelled Safeway club card program which intimately tracked buying habits).

    Sobeys likes to blame the economy but for anyone who shops for groceries the mismanagement is clear. Safeway was a very, very good operation. Sobeys has not reached that level yet.
    Last edited by AAAAE; 10-07-2016 at 07:27 PM.

  52. #452

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Should we surprised. The cost of living has increased beyond the means, so the majority has awaken, but Safeway didn't. It wasn't like they were busy prior to the take over. Their demise was completely obvious by the lack of patrons the last decade. Your middle class has declined significantly. When most live on credit cards what does that tell you? I'm no genius, and even a chimpanzee would have figured this out.
    Safeway was never super expensive - it was positioned as a high quality, mass market, fairly priced option.

    Unfortunately Sobeys has run it into the ground.

    The produce is still poor quality. Shelves are helter-skelter, not tidy. Store looks like a mess with half Sobeys font/visual identity, half Safeway. Display lights are burned out. Product selection has narrowed - people are loyal to a brand and are not going to just buy anything. However, I will say that Sobeys/Safeway's prices are somewhat competitive at present. People have forgotten that for many years Edmonton was known as one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country... why? Safeway. They were ruthless operators. Sobeys just can't compete in terms of supply chain, efficiency, produce quality, own-label quality perception, or customer knowledge (they cancelled Safeway club card program which intimately tracked buying habits).

    Sobeys likes to blame the economy but for anyone who shops for groceries the mismanagement is clear. Safeway was a very, very good operation. Sobeys has not reached that level yet.

    It's not a matter of who's right or wrong, but i find them to be the same.

  53. #453

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodmanza View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    'Canada’s second largest grocer has suffered amid stiff competition from lower-priced discount chains, such as No Frills and Walmart, particularly in areas of the country where consumers are feeling the oil industry downturn.'

    Quote from above.

    Basically Safeway's main market area.
    I don't believe Safeway has ever been in the "value" market so much as "service". Their prices have always been mid to high end.
    I wonder how big that market is. I find it strange when I see a Safeway next to a Walmart or a superstore. It doesn't make any sense to me, who would shop at the Safeway for the same stuff, but pay 80 dollars instead of 60 dollars (Walmart will bag for you as well, if you hate that)? I get the idea that Safeway, probably under the Sobeys brand (which is less dumpy in my view), could be a high end grocery store in more urban areas (like the Railtown savon), but they need to change the branding / pricing on those suburban stores, to be more like, for example, no frills, if they want them to make any money. It wouldn't surprise me if the new management phases out the Safeway brand, this is what I would do:

    - new cheap brand for suburban stores
    - higher end Sobeys for urban
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-07-2016 at 08:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Should we surprised. The cost of living has increased beyond the means, so the majority has awaken, but Safeway didn't. It wasn't like they were busy prior to the take over. Their demise was completely obvious by the lack of patrons the last decade. Your middle class has declined significantly. When most live on credit cards what does that tell you? I'm no genius, and even a chimpanzee would have figured this out.
    Safeway was never super expensive - it was positioned as a high quality, mass market, fairly priced option.

    Unfortunately Sobeys has run it into the ground.

    The produce is still poor quality. Shelves are helter-skelter, not tidy. Store looks like a mess with half Sobeys font/visual identity, half Safeway. Display lights are burned out. Product selection has narrowed - people are loyal to a brand and are not going to just buy anything. However, I will say that Sobeys/Safeway's prices are somewhat competitive at present. People have forgotten that for many years Edmonton was known as one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country... why? Safeway. They were ruthless operators. Sobeys just can't compete in terms of supply chain, efficiency, produce quality, own-label quality perception, or customer knowledge (they cancelled Safeway club card program which intimately tracked buying habits).

    Sobeys likes to blame the economy but for anyone who shops for groceries the mismanagement is clear. Safeway was a very, very good operation. Sobeys has not reached that level yet.

    Safeway almost had a total monopoly of the Edmonton market and many others in western Canada. They had control of 85% of the grocery market in the Edmonton area. Safeway had a lot of high priced union staff. They had high ratio of stores per population. They had the highest prices they could charge. That is what monopolies do. They charge what the market will bare.

    Then came the Real Canadian Superstore.

    Superstore had few large stores with fewer lower paid staff and charged less for their products. IGA started to become a significant competitor in the marketplace and Save-on-Foods (Overwaitea) entered the market. Then Wall-Mart entered the grocery business. That is why Edmonton may have become know as one of the most competitive grocery markets in Canada. It was most certainly NOT because Safeway were ruthless operators.

    I would suggest that the entrance of Superstore left Safeway reeling. Safeway tried to lower prices to compete with Superstore. They opened three Food-for-Less stores that had lower than Safeway prices to compete. They broke the union wages they were paying by having two tier union wages where new hires were paid significantly less than long term employees. They tried to buy out as many of the established employees as they could in an effort to decrease operating costs. Ultimately they were unable to compete on price as they still had too many locations with still too much staff. There is absolutely no way that Safeway was able to compete on price with the infrastructure that they had in place.

  55. #455

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    With Safeway, at least I knew I was getting product quality and availability for the higher price. With Sobeys' takeover, it's a crap shoot. The emptier shelves and the lackluster private label make it seem like Superstore with higher prices. I have to say that the quality of the fresh departments hasn't really diminished too much at my local Safeway since the takeover, though. The one thing that has really ****** me off is the "buy x" sales prices that Sobeys has introduced where you have to by a certain quantity of units (usually 2 or 3) to get the sale price. Safeway never did this. Also, they seem to be using air miles to track your purchasing trends in lieu of the club card.

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    How Sobeys screwed up Safeway in a messy takeover that left empty shelves, massive losses, and drove customers away

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sobey...193/story.html

    TORONTO — Seeing strawberries out of stock again was the final straw for long-time Safeway shopper Kevin Wipf.The Calgary resident is one of hundreds of consumers who are still taking to social media to complain about the grocer in the wake of Sobeys Inc.’s messy takeover of the Western Canadian grocery chain — even though the acquisition happened close to three years ago.

    “I have to say I’m getting fed up ever since you were bought by Sobeys,” Wipf wrote in his May 30 missive. “A lot of the stuff in the flyer you never have. Prices keep increasing. …I want to keep supporting Canadian companies, but you are sure making it difficult!”

    Sobeys is well aware of the difficulties. On July 8, the retailer’s owner Empire Co. Ltd. removed Marc Poulin as chief executive, a week after the Stellarton, N.S.-based company posted a staggering $942.6 million loss due to the continued fallout from its botched Safeway integration, which, aside from annoyed consumers complaining about out-of-stock products, included logistical snafus, systems integration problems and disgruntled staff members on both sides.

    Wipf’s complaints are particularly noteworthy because he is exactly the type of customer that grocery chains are keen to hold on to: a very loyal one who didn’t shop around between the big chains based on competing sale prices. He sincerely wants to continue shopping at Safeway, he said, and only recently gave up on it as his primary grocer.

    “If you are getting good service, you don’t mind paying a little more for better quality product,” Wipf said in an interview. “But I would say as soon as Sobeys started taking over, you could tell the difference, little by little. There was no stock.”

    On the day Wipf made his online complaint, he recounts, Safeway had advertised strawberries for $2.49 a pound.

    “I watch my prices,” he said. “Normally in Calgary, those would run from $3.49 to $4.99. So I went in, and there were no strawberries other than organic, and those were over $5. I asked a guy stocking shelves, and he said that his store didn’t even get any.”

    Though he took to Facebook to vent, Wipf doesn’t believe Safeway — and Sobeys by extension — will be able to do much to dig itself out of its predicament. Many industry experts also believe the retailer’s problems go well beyond the issues that interrupted the steady flow of store stock. There was also the axing of a much-loved loyalty program and the discontinuation of Safeway house-branded items in favour of Sobeys’ branded goods.

    “Empire keeps blaming price competition and oil woes for the disastrous losses of Safeway in Western Canada, but the reality is the Safeway stores are poorly managed by Sobeys,” said one consumer who spoke with the Financial Post and sent recent photos of empty shelves taken at an Edmonton Safeway store.
    There's a lot more. Way more.
    Last edited by Sonic Death Monkey; 22-07-2016 at 03:34 PM.
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    Great article, thanks for posting. In coincidence after shopping at Safeway for many many years I changed to Superstore within a year before the acquisition. Sounds like I would have left anyway.

  58. #458

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    I never have shopped at Safeway, so I wouldn't even notice the difference. Sobey's is my primary store and there are no stock issues there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ctzn-Ed View Post
    Should we surprised. The cost of living has increased beyond the means, so the majority has awaken, but Safeway didn't. It wasn't like they were busy prior to the take over. Their demise was completely obvious by the lack of patrons the last decade. Your middle class has declined significantly. When most live on credit cards what does that tell you? I'm no genius, and even a chimpanzee would have figured this out.
    Safeway was never super expensive - it was positioned as a high quality, mass market, fairly priced option.

    Unfortunately Sobeys has run it into the ground.

    The produce is still poor quality. Shelves are helter-skelter, not tidy. Store looks like a mess with half Sobeys font/visual identity, half Safeway. Display lights are burned out. Product selection has narrowed - people are loyal to a brand and are not going to just buy anything. However, I will say that Sobeys/Safeway's prices are somewhat competitive at present. People have forgotten that for many years Edmonton was known as one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country... why? Safeway. They were ruthless operators. Sobeys just can't compete in terms of supply chain, efficiency, produce quality, own-label quality perception, or customer knowledge (they cancelled Safeway club card program which intimately tracked buying habits).

    Sobeys likes to blame the economy but for anyone who shops for groceries the mismanagement is clear. Safeway was a very, very good operation. Sobeys has not reached that level yet.

    Safeway almost had a total monopoly of the Edmonton market and many others in western Canada. They had control of 85% of the grocery market in the Edmonton area. Safeway had a lot of high priced union staff. They had high ratio of stores per population. They had the highest prices they could charge. That is what monopolies do. They charge what the market will bare.

    Then came the Real Canadian Superstore.

    Superstore had few large stores with fewer lower paid staff and charged less for their products. IGA started to become a significant competitor in the marketplace and Save-on-Foods (Overwaitea) entered the market. Then Wall-Mart entered the grocery business. That is why Edmonton may have become know as one of the most competitive grocery markets in Canada. It was most certainly NOT because Safeway were ruthless operators.

    I would suggest that the entrance of Superstore left Safeway reeling. Safeway tried to lower prices to compete with Superstore. They opened three Food-for-Less stores that had lower than Safeway prices to compete. They broke the union wages they were paying by having two tier union wages where new hires were paid significantly less than long term employees. They tried to buy out as many of the established employees as they could in an effort to decrease operating costs. Ultimately they were unable to compete on price as they still had too many locations with still too much staff. There is absolutely no way that Safeway was able to compete on price with the infrastructure that they had in place.
    I think your analysis is sound, but rooted in the mid 90s Edmonton grocery market. Prior to the Sobeys takeover, 2005-2014, I would not agree with your characterization of Safeway as unable to compete. They were a fierce competitor. They renovated their stores, introduced Safeway Club Card, and were very competitive on sale items (regular price may not have been, but sales were constant). They maintained deep inventory which was not cheap to do. Their shelves were relatively tidy, thanks to significant staff numbers. They spent the money needed to run a smooth operation. And their produce was very good.

    Safeway did not sell their Canadian operations because they were 'reeling'. Rather they were a healthy profit centre. They sold them for strategic reasons and because they could make slightly more money in the States. But they were not money losing enterprises as a whole. Keep in mind Safeway also owned Lucerne Foods which manufactured a lot of dairy related products, in Canada. These operations were sold to Agropur - Sobeys didn't keep them. Sobeys dismantled much of the Safeway business model and expected the Safeway customers to simply not notice.
    Last edited by AAAAE; 23-07-2016 at 10:48 AM.

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    My analysis is rooted in the early to mid 90's Edmonton grocery market as that was when I was employed in the Alberta division office of Canada Safeway. I was disagreeing with your assertion that the market was competitive because of Safeway. I would agree that Safeway found a niche and were able to maintain a sound business. I am not sure why you are describing them as a fierce competitor.

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    ^Being competitive isn't all about price. Definitely part of it but there is much more to it than that. Safeway made some good choices that set them apart at the time.

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    i find it interesting - and this discussion interesting - because the topic has very little to do with safeway's canadian operations. canada safeway was sold because it was pretty much the only profitable/salable business unit safeway had in no small part because of their acquisition of a number of other large american niche/local chains from the west coast to chicago that they were having difficulty absorbing and experienced drastically lower margins and write downs as a result. they needed the cash and didn't have a whole lot of other options (sometimes the price you pay for being the best performer). interesting to see sobeys suffering much of the same pain after their acquisition of something that was performing much better pre than post acquisition. my guess is the two brands will have to have their differentiation restored (and things like joint flyers and ads aren't conducive to that) or the safeway brand in canada will go the way future shop also went.
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  63. #463

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    I agree Ken, although not sure the Future Shop example really fits. Best Buy at least allowed Future Shop to maintain its own brand, and it still failed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    I agree Ken, although not sure the Future Shop example really fits. Best Buy at least allowed Future Shop to maintain its own brand, and it still failed.
    which is pretty much what you're seeing with safeway isn't it? without brand differentiation, there's no point in retaining both brands. you're better off putting your efforts in to supporting one strong brand than two weaker ones.
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    I used to buy a lot of the Safeway branded products; they had excellent stuff, at decent prices. Unfortunately Sobey's got rid of them, but they were foolish and didn't have a Sobey's branded product to replace it. I went elsewhere to shop because of that, and I haven't really gone back to Safeway (except for the occasional quick stop to get one or two things).
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  66. #466

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    The only thing I almost ever buy at Sobey's is milk for my coffee and emergency veggies, since it's across the street. They have the most pathetic and overpriced "meat" selection - almost every cut is super thin and insanely expensive. I feel bad for people that buy meat there.

    I go through a lot of almond milk, and I prefer Nature's Own. It's $5.49 at Sobey's/Safeway, and $4.29 at Superstore, but is regularly on sale for $3.79 or two for $7.00. Add in far superior meat at lower prices at Superstore and there's virtually no reason to ever walk into a Sobey's or Safeway.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    duplicate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    I used to buy a lot of the Safeway branded products; they had excellent stuff, at decent prices. Unfortunately Sobey's got rid of them, but they were foolish and didn't have a Sobey's branded product to replace it. I went elsewhere to shop because of that, and I haven't really gone back to Safeway (except for the occasional quick stop to get one or two things).
    Interestingly, Sobeys claims they taste tested every Safeway branded item comparing it with the Compliments branded item, and kept the winner from each test, branding it as Compliments.

    However, I also have noticed that the compliments products are not as good as some of the Safeway Select or other safeway branded products. This leads me to believe they did not actually perform the test as they claimed.

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    I think the Future Shop comparison is valid. The stores were basically run from the same warehouses, same suppliers, same business strategy (with some small exceptions), same marketing material, same format. Eventually the subsidiary brand (Future Shop) was terminated. It served no real purpose once the public realized it was all Best Buy anyway.

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    I'm really starting to wonder if Safeway is even going to be around in Alberta in a few years.

    Possible layoffs as Calgary Safeway set to close in December

    The Calgary Safeway store in the Trans Canada Centre will be closing on Dec. 10 and 112 employees are affected.
    Most employees were given the bad news on Wednesday, that the store on 52 Street near 16 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 2014.

    “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 under-performing 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.
    More here:

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3021115/po...e-in-december/

  71. #471

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    I'm not sure Safeway is going away á la Future Shop. They have also closed underperforming Sobeys stores in the last year or so unrelated to the competition bureau requirements and they, for example, renovated Oliver Square Safeway and didn't retool it as Sobeys. Also, they kept IGA around as a small town store after buying it out more than a decade ago and the format is growing in Quebec.

  72. #472

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    And I bet they'll be leaving behind a nice juicy caveat as a final f--k you to the area.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  73. #473

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    Have to remember that Safeway is union. Unless Sobeys also unionises (not impossible), unlikely that they merge the branding.

    A unionised store or a franchised store, hard to predict which one they close first, but their clear M.O. is cutting stores to preserve margins, and moving out to freshest suburbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    And I bet they'll be leaving behind a nice juicy caveat as a final f--k you to the area.
    And that's the worst part. If someone else could move in who would care? They would hire the people and supply food......but they will let it sit empty for years and write off the lease. Oughtta be a law.......

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    Sobeys Profit down by half - western operations to blame

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle33328397/

    Looks like Sobeys is still struggling with the acquisition of Safeway stores.

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    how the hell does a company destroy two brands in such a short amount of time?

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    They got greedy, screwed up royally by purchasing Safeway, which was always expensive, then the downturn in the economy led people to the cheaper stores. Where is my old IGA just up the street that I revered? I loved the bakery and the store prices plus it was a short walk. It became a Sobeys and went downhill, now it's a Coop and the prices are outrageous so I travel to No Frills, Walmart or Superstore.

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    Exactly. I'm sure I said this earlier in the thread but I gave up on Safeway about a year before the buy-out... got tired of paying premium prices just to stand in line for 15 minutes because only one till was open. Now it's a Coop and the prices are insane so I do the bulk of my shopping at Superstore.

  79. #479

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    I have a Sobey's across the street and haven't been there in months. It's so damn expensive that it's cheaper to drive to Superstore about 5 min away. Used to go there all the time if I needed something quick.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  80. #480

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I have a Sobey's across the street and haven't been there in months. It's so damn expensive that it's cheaper to drive to Superstore about 5 min away. Used to go there all the time if I needed something quick.
    Yes same with me. Sobey's has way more convenient locations, but like a convenience store, has very high prices. It's definitely the place I go to for 2 or 3 items when I'm in a rush. But I never do my actual grocery shopping there; that goes for Safeway, Save-on and Co-op too.

  81. #481

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    I think it's worth also remembering the Sobey's/Safeway merger was just one of the things that happened during the industry "girding for Target." Loblaw, Costco, and Wal-Mart all pushed major competitive plans through to preempt Target, but it didn't make it easy on each other either.
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