Empire wins approval for Safeway staff buyouts in B.C.
Source Canadian Grocer
Empire Company Limited says a recent labour
decision allowing it to offer buyouts to Safeway employees in British
Columbia gives it the opportunity to improve store profitability in the
In a press release issued Thursday,
Sobeys' parent company said the decision, passed down by a
government-appointed labour mediator, would enable it to better manage
operational costs and contributed "to a level playing field for Empire
to compete in B.C."
"We are in the midst of turning around our Western Canadian stores,"
said Empire CEO Michael Medline in the release. "This decision is a
major building block in improving our customer service, employee
relations, profitability and flexibility."
Empire plans to convert approximately 25% of its 255 Safeway and
Sobeys full-service stores into FreshCo discount banners. The first five
Western Canadian FreshCo stores are expected to open in the spring of
2019 (three in B.C. and two in Manitoba), with an additional seven
expected to open in B.C. in 2020.