PRESS RELEASE: FEBRUARY 05, 2018

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Sobeys decision to shut down Safeway stores in Metro Vancouver is being viewed with cynicism, and not just by the union members who work there, but customers who have grown weary of the deterioration of Safeway since Sobeys took over the company in June 2013. 

The Richmond News published a customer's letter under the headline, "Sobeys looking for cheap labour in Richmond". 

It only got worse for Sobeys from there, as the writer observed that, "(t)he struggle started the minute Sobeys took over. As a weekly shopper at Safeway, I have watched the gradual, but persistent, decline in staffing, service and products. The shelves are empty, staff is running from department to department trying to assist customers and handle the jobs left uncompleted from lack of staff. Has Safeway gone downhill? Yes it has, at the hands of Sobeys."

In Surrey, the Surrey Now-Leader reported that over 1,000 Safeway jobs will be lost as a result of Sobeys closures, with over 250 Safeway jobs lost in Surrey. 

One customer commented, "I feel for the people that are losing their job. I get all emotional – they’ve all been so helpful. I’ve used them for many years and it’s all been nice and the service and the smile, professional and efficient, and I’m really, really going to be sad to see them go."

Georgia Straight article used the Sobeys-Safeway closure announcement as a kick-off point for an assessment of the grocery industry in Metro Vancouver. Numerous reader comments echoed the customer complaints that union members have been hearing since Sobeys bought Safeway in June 2013.
 
For a more lengthy business-oriented assessment of Nova Scotia-based Sobeys and the mess they have created with Safeway, see journalist Stephen Kimber's, "Sobeys Safeway meltdown", originally published in December 2016. 
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