10 Safeway stores to close in Metro Vancouver

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WATCH: Canada Safeway said it's closing 10 Metro Vancouver stores due to falling sales and changing consumer demand. As Ted Chernecki reports, the union that represents Safeway employees called the timing suspicious.

Ten Safeway grocery stores in Metro Vancouver are closing in the coming months.

Parent company Sobeys, which bought the chain back in 2013, described the 10 stores slated for closure as “underperforming.”

The locations include City Square and Point Grey in Vancouver, Royal Oak and Lougheed Mall in Burnaby and Coquitlam’s Sunwood Square.

READ MORE: 25% of Western Canada Sobeys, Safeway converting to discount FreshCo banner

Five other stores in Surrey, Mission and Richmond may be reopened under Sobeys’ discount FreshCo brand.

The announcement comes on the eve of labour negotiations between Sobeys and the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 4,500 Safeway employees.

Ivan Limpright, president of Union Local 1518, said in a statement that the timing of the store closure announcement to B.C. Safeway employees is suspicious.

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“Now, as negotiations are set to begin in British Columbia, they announce 10 store closures? It’s a classic scare tactic,” he said.

— With files from The Canadian Press