Save-On-Foods expands footprint in Calgary

The Western-based grocer is opening two stores in fast-growing communities

Save-On-Foods is setting up shop in a new urban village in Calgary’s University District.

The grocery retailer has teamed up with community developer West Campus Development Trust (The Trust) to open a 38,000-sq.-ft. grocery store in a planned mixed-use building. The location breaks ground at the end of 2017 and will open in 2020.

Save-On-Foods will be one of the major anchor tenants of the development, which also includes single-family and multi-family residential units, built by Gracorp Capital Advisors.

“This development in the University District is a fantastic location. It’s close to where university students are, and that’s clearly a demographic we feel is right for our new stores,” Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones tells Canadian Grocer.

He adds that the store will have “all the pieces that young people want,” including big fresh sections, a frozen yogurt bar, sushi bar and hot meals; e-commerce, delivery and click-and-collect; as well as a focus on sustainability with things like energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration. “Plus, we’ll have a great store for the local folks from the neighbourhood as well,” says Jones.

Nine additional retailers (whose names will be announced in the coming months) will be part of the grocery block. They include a coffee shop, restaurant, pet store and wine merchant.

To celebrate the grocery store announcement, Save-On-Foods, The Trust and Gracorp are launching an in-store campaign -- “Thanksgiving Feast for Families in Need.” From Sept. 27 to Oct. 6, Calgargians are encouraged to donate to I Can for Kids, a local charity combating childhood hunger. For every dollar donated, the partners will match the donation and customers who donate can enter to win a harvest basket with a $100 gift card.

Next week, Save-On-Foods is opening a new 41,000-sq.-ft. store in Airdrie, a bedroom community north of Calgary that’s been one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada for the past few years.

“That will give us eight stores in the Greater Calgary market and we want to double that over the next three to four years,” says Jones. “Calgary is a great city. They had a rough time of it during the downturn in the oil prices, but we’re starting to see that come back and we think Calgary is a great place for us to invest.”

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