PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 26, 2014

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BC Safeway stores not affected by Sobeys store closure announcement

Sobeys will close about 50 “underperforming” stores, the majority of them in Western Canada.The national grocer announced Thursday that the company completed a detailed full review of its retail store network during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2014.

“This review aligns with management’s ongoing focus of enhancing the productivity and performance of the network and logically follows the acquisition of Canada Safeway which was completed in the third quarter of fiscal 2014,” it said in a news release.

 John Graham, director of public affairs and government relations for the Safeway operations of Sobeys said, it is difficult to provide specific numbers about employee reductions as many of the employees affected by this announcement will receive offers of employment in comparable jobs within the company’s store network.

“This is a process that will take some time, and should it be determined that opportunities are not available for some of our employees, then respectful severance compensation will be offered,” he said.

“Where applicable, we will be working with the relevant unions regarding all collective agreement language that applies to store closures. An average impacted store employs approximately 60 full and part-time employees, however, our intent is to minimize the impact on as many employees as possible.”

The company said the move will strengthen the quality of Sobeys’ store network and is expected to improve net earnings as a result of cost savings. But, it will also result in a reduction in future sales of about $400 million or 1.9 percent of total sales.

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