It’s the end of an era.
That’s how one longtime patron of the Ladner Safeway store described the grocery store at Trenant Park shopping mall, which is officially shutting its doors this Saturday.
“It don’t understand why they have to do it. It’s the end of an era and I’ve been coming here since they opened back in the early 80’s. Back in those days you had real customer service with someone behind every stall. Things changed, I guess,” said the older gentleman, a member of a so-called “crossword club” sitting near the closed Starbucks stand.
Noting he managed to snag a few deals as the Safeway was emptying out its merchandise, the Ladner resident, as well as his friend seated next to him, said they’re not sure what to expect in the FreshCo grocery store that’s to replace the Safeway.
The store in the wind down days has been quiet, mostly empty of product with barely a customer in site, a pair of cashiers standing with nothing really to do at their registers while another employee tried to keep things looking tidy.
Earlier this year Sobeys Inc. announced the locations of its first 10 FreshCo locations in B.C., including the conversion of the Safeway store in Ladner. The store will close July 13 and undergo renovations, reopening sometime this October under the new brand.
“We’re excited to introduce FreshCo to Western Canada. We know customers will be thrilled with our high-quality, fresh products at market-leading low prices. FreshCo is committed to helping the community make every dollar count. Ladner shoppers will no longer have to sacrifice great quality for fair pricing, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the FreshCo experience with them,” a spokesperson said in a recent statement.
The Ladner Safeway did not have a pharmacy and the new discount grocery store won’t have one either.
Sobeys, which is owned by Empire Company Ltd., owns or franchises several grocery chains, including Thrifty Foods, IGA, Price Chopper, FreshCo and Foodland.
Sobeys sold the Tsawwassen Safeway to the Overwaitea Food Group a few years ago, which means the last Safeway in Delta is at the mall at 64th Avenue at Scott Road. Empire isn’t saying if that Safeway is also an “underperforming” location which will eventually convert.
How do you feel about the closure of the Ladner Safeway? Give us your feedback on our Facebook page.