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Jun 12, 2013 04:36 PM

Sobeys buys Safeway Canada

A $5.8B deal:

Big news. Sobeys being the nation's 2nd-largest Canadian-owned and operated grocer retail chain after the Loblaw Group (George Weston Ltd), effectively the country's grocery retail landscape are wholly-owned and HQ'd in Canada (save for the slim minority of Walmarts, Whole Foods and IGA).

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  1. I guess that's good. It probably won't sway me from staying well away of Safeway though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Well, except for the Lucerne dairy products, which are head and shoulders above the ubiquitous Dairyland ones. I love Lucerne 1% -- it tastes a wee bit sweet to me and has the mouthfeel of a 2%. They better not mess with my milk : -).

      1. re: grayelf

        +1 on Lucerne. Their organic milk is cheaper than competitors' too. Same with the 1%. I've been drinking skim for +20 years, but wife and Jr. like 2%. Got tired of buying two sets of milk every week so we "settled" on a compromise of 1%. I can drink Lucerne's 1% straight up without feeling it's too rich, but with other brands (Whole Foods 365, Dairyland, Island Farms, etc) I can't.

    2. I wonder if this will come with Sobeys to BC (maybe Lower Robson and Burquitlam ?)

      1. Ever since Sobey's bought out the Thrifty Foods chain I've noticed a marked decline in the variety and quality of foodstuffs at Thrifty's. I.e. they sold my wife a piece of rancid salmon, which Thrifty's under Alex Campbell's never did. when my wife tried to return said item the fish counter person made some excuse and argued that the fish was fresh. Orange-brown oil cooked out of the salmon; I asked a trusted fish monger (at Finest at Sea) what that meant and he said it meant the fish was rancid.

        The meat at Thrifty's is noticeably poorer in quality than it was during the Alex Campbell years, and the produce sucks (i.e. I used to routinely be able to buy organic collard greens at Thrifty's and now it is hit and miss at Sobey's. Their kale is often slimy and horrible).

        I dislike Thrifty Foods so intensely now that I avoid it at all costs. It is expensive AND poor quality. So I would not get your hopes up for Safeway. Mind you, Safeway is already so horrible that I'm not sure there is much room to go down a notch.

        4 Replies
        1. re: anewton

          Well I'm sorry to hear about the Thrifty issues-only had positive experiences with them when they were on the Island but it's been a while and Yes this latest news bodes no good for consumers.

          1. re: Sam Salmon

            I've had limited experience with Thrifty (Victoria, Tsawwassen) and I only remember their staff being happy and friendly, sorta like hopping onto a Westjet. But as for Safeway, I personally can't see how they can be worse than they are already. The only reason I even step into a Safeway is getting the aforementioned Lucerne milk, and when I must after 10pm because all other large supermarkets have closed and the nearest Superstore being either Renfrew@Grandview or SW Marine@Main.

            1. re: LotusRapper

              I'm wondering if people are generally down about Safeway's produce and meats? Not that I think they are great, but I live downtown and there are 2 Safeways within a few blocks of my place and I usually get my non produce and non meat items there. Ie. cereal, canned goods, dairy, general pantry stuff like flower and sugar.

              I typically avoid their meat and produce as I find I can get better elsewhere for a similar or cheaper price, but I'm ok with the rest of it.

          2. re: anewton

            Yes I agree that Thrifty's has gone downhill since Sobey's bought them - a lot.

          3. Ironically, speaking of takeovers and such, Sobeys provides the groceries to Target stores.

            1. I loved Safeway, yes it was expensive, but they always had a solid staff that seemed to stay with them for a long time, and always had enough people working. Sobey's however is even more expensive, never keeps on enough staff, has considerably worse generic brand products; and the store almost seems empty. Fresh meat/ food products are at the lowest low I've seen then ate 'safeway', which is unacceptable. I'd rather spend my extra money on gas to drive to Save-On. Such a joke.