The Co-op 1441 Main Street didn’t last long. Two years. It isn’t closing as a result of poor business. No, Co-op was interested in upgrades, a new lease or outright ownership of the former Safeway on Main.
Instead what has happened is that the landlord has found a new tenant and needs Co-Op out by end of June. The company hasn’t taken this lying down. The ran a full page ad in the Free Press expressing their view and indicated that they would be keeping their Co-Op pharmacy in the area in a closed Scotiabank across the street.
Co-Op remains with three grocery stores in Winnipeg. The Red River Co-Op itself has plans for a few more gas stations, convenience stores and car washes in the city.
The former Extra Foods nearby is now a No Frills store run under one of the Loblaw’s banners so the new tenant seems to unlikely be from that company. This raises the question of just exactly ranks has a better long term occupant on this section of Main Street. If it is indeed another food store, this is a very bold move on their part.
There continues to be a lot of jockeying around in the Winnipeg grocery business. Sobey’s takeover of Safeway continues to have its challenges not the least of which is what to do about redundant stores. Save On Foods or Co-Op seem ready to grab space and there is new news that Walmart may set up a strictly grocery business across Canada.
There likely will more afoot in the coming months and it will continue to alter what was once a fairly static business in the city.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations