One of the causalities of the Safeway and Sobey’s merge was the IGA on Jefferson Avenue across from Maples Collegiate. It was closed in 2014 and has remained shut since then. It will be now the location of the second Lucky Supermarket, an Asian food store.
Lucky Supermarket first opened a 32,000 square foot store in Winnipeg in 2010 and has done well in the market.
The closing of several stores by the big players in mergers has left the market open to others who might have a different approach. There were some justifiable fears that some the sore closures might leave retail holes not just for years but for several years. In locations outside of Winnipeg that might very well still be the case. However, inside the city, new players like Save-On Foods and Co-Op stores have grabbed old grocery locations and are running with them.
The 26,000 square foot Jefferson location of Lucky is in the middle of a residential neighbourhood with a good portion of Asian heritage residents living nearby. A typical store sells around 40% of what you would find in any grocery store in Canada. The rest is a combination of Chinese, Philippines, Vietnamese and other fare from the Pacific.
The new store will employ around 100 people which is welcome in this rather tumultuous time in the Canadian economy.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations