© Darrell Cole - TC Media
Sobeys has announced the closure of Foodland in Amherst. Twenty-six employees will lose their jobs when the store closes on July 5. A spokeswoman for the corporation said the Amherst store was reviewed and determined to be underperforming.
Dozens of underperforming grocery stores across Canada are being closed by parent-company Sobeys and here in Nova Scotia the only closure will be in Amherst.
Sobeys Atlantic spokesman Shauna Selig confirmed June 26 that the 26 employees at the downtown Amherst Foodland were notified of the decision the night before .
The store will be closing permanently July 5 at 6 p.m.
“We reviewed the whole network of stores on a market-by-market basis and determined the Amherst location was underperforming,” Seliq said.
The Amherst closure will be the only location impact in the province, but four Foodland storefronts and one Sobeys in New Brunswick will also be closed for underperforming, Selig said. Those locations include Perth Andover, Tracadie and St. Stephen.
Sobeys parent company, Empire, released a press release Thursday confirming 50 stores across Canada will be closed to improve its net earnings, and more than half of those will take place in Western Canada.
The decision to cut the stores comes after the $5.8-billion acquisition of rival Safeway Canada.
Several shoppers told cumberlandnewsnow.com talked to said they were shocked by the news.
"It's a shame. It's a great store with great people working there," Jim Rhindress said. "I shop there quite often."
Another shopper, who wish to remain unidentified, said the closure is going to impact people living in the downtown. The person said there are a lot of people living in and around the downtown who don't have transportation and walk to the Foodland to buy their groceries.
"Some of us don't have a car. This means we'll have to take a cab out to the malls to get our groceries. That can get expensive," the person said.
Evange Landry said she'll miss the store, adding it's a sign of the direction Amherst is heading.
"Pretty soon Amherst is going to be a ghost town. There are so many things closing," she said. "Soon, there'll be nothing left. At least I'm happy they reopened Sears."