UPDATE: Calgary shoppers dismayed by Sobeys store closures

Five Calgary communities are losing a supermarket this summer and some shoppers aren’t happy about it.

Sobeys is closing a total of 50 ‘underperforming’ stores across the country, 15 of them in Alberta.

The Sobeys in Fairmount Plaza in Calgary’s southeast only opened six years ago. It will be one of the stores that will close its doors at the end of July.

Customers say they’ll miss the convenience of having a supermarket nearby.

“We’ve lived out here in this area for 47 years, in the same place, right? So this is like home,” says shopper Hilda Carpenter.

“I like this place. It’s small and easy to get into,” says another shopper.

READ MORE: Sobeys pulls plug on dozens of ‘underperforming’ supermarkets

There are no plans to sell the stores to other grocery chains, and small retailers in the plaza that rely on the Sobeys anchor store worry what will happen once it closes.

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“Most of our business is actually from Sobeys and RBC,” explains Stacey Brown of Lavish salon. “Just having it in here, because we’re a hair salon, half of our business is walk in, so I feel like it’s probably going to affect us quite a bit.”

The other four stores shutting down in Calgary include:

  • Deer Point Sobeys (closes end of July)
  • Douglas Square Sobeys (closes in the fall)
  • London Town Sobeys (closes in the fall)
  • Glenmore Square Safeway in Ogden (closes in the fall)

The country’s second-biggest supermarket chain launched a review of its operations after it bought Canada Safeway for $5.8 billion last summer.

“Nobody likes hearing about store closures in their community and this seems like a large number to happen all at once,” says Keri Scobie of Sobeys, “But with our go-forward strategy it was the right decision to make.”

Sobeys won’t reveal how many jobs will be lost although it will pay about $170 million in severance costs, real estate writedowns and other related closing costs.

READ MORE: Sobeys, Safeway merger puts jobs at risk, experts say

Other Alberta store closures include the Scenic Square Sobeys and Park Meadows Mall Safeway in Lethbridge;  the Crescent Heights Safeway in Medicine Hat; the Pincher Creek Sobeys and Parkland Mall Safeway in Red Deer.

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