Loblaw shutters two more Extra Foods in Manitoba


Loblaw Companies has announced that it is closing its Extra Foods stores in north Winnipeg and Steinbach because they are no longer economically viable.

"In both cases, the decision to close the store was not taken lightly," said Julija Hunter, the company’s vice-president of public relations.

She added that the decision to close was not a reflection of the colleagues or management teams from the stores. “They have been committed to serving their customers for many years and we appreciate their efforts and dedication,” she said. “We thank our customers and we look forward to serving them at our other Real Canadian Superstore or Extra Foods locations.”

The store in Steinbach (a half hour drive southeast of Winnipeg) will close on Feb. 23 and the Winnipeg store–which has been in operation for more than 50 years–on March 23.

Two months ago, Loblaw’s also closed its Extra Foods store in downtown Winnipeg.

Hunter reported that Extra Foods is hoping to place the workers in other jobs within its operations. In the case of the 37 Steinbach workers, it would be in the Real Canadian Superstore outlet in the community.

The approximately 40 Winnipeg workers would be relocated among the other Extra Foods outlets in the city.

Loblaw still has eight other Extra Foods stores in the province–four in Winnipeg, one in Selkirk just north of Winnipeg, and three in communities in northwestern Manitoba. There are no plans to close them. "It will be business as usual at the other stores," Hunter noted.

In other provinces where Loblaw’s has closed Extra Foods stores, the company has  replaced them with one of its discount No Frills banners.

However, a representative of Local 832 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union said that the union would have to have a say in that.

“Loblaw’s can change the banner on their stores, but they can’t change the terms of the collective agreement,” said Blake Crothers, the union's communications director.  “We have a collective agreement with Loblaws covering all of its 3,300 employees in this province.  No Frills stores in other provinces pay lower wages and don’t offer benefits or a pension plan.  They can’t do that here without union approval.”

Manitoba is the only province where a province-wide agreement exists with Loblaw.

Westfair Foods division operates the Extra Foods and Real Canadian Superstore outlets in Manitoba.

Hunter said Loblaw hasn't decided yet what it will do with the two properties after the stores close.

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