Save-On-Foods makeover coming for Island Safeways

Say goodbye to your Air Miles, shoppers, Duncan Safeway will soon become a Save-On-Foods.

Overwaitea Food Group, owners of Save-On-Foods, has agreed to buy the local supermarket and 14 others in B.C. and Alberta from Sobeys Inc. in an agreement with Canada’s Competition Bureau in connection with its $5.8 billion purchase of Canada Safeway last year.

The move will see a Save-On-Foods to Duncan for the first time since the area’s Save-On closed in 2008.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome these stores, along with their existing team members and customers to our Group,” said Overwaitea President Darrell Jones. “As a local grocer our philosophy is to tailor our stores and the mix in those stores to suit the needs of our customers and their communities.”

Jones maintains existing staff will be

given the opportunity to retain their jobs.

“We rely on the folks who work in each of our stores to help us understand and deliver that,” he said. “By welcoming more than 1,500 of the best grocers in North America to our team, we are in a great position to continue growing our business in these locations.”

Other supermarkets affected include all seven Greater Victoria-area Safeway stores and Safeway locations in Port Alberni, Ladysmith and a Thrifty Foods in Nanaimo, as well as several other Safeway and Sobeys stores in the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

Overwaitea spokeswoman Julie Dickson said her company would start taking possession of the stores, “two or three stores at a time” by mid-March with the goal of switching them over by the end of April.

“We are thrilled to be returning to the community of Duncan, and look forward to serving customers there once again,” Dickson said.