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Giant Tiger Closing Two Winnipeg Stores due to “Challenges”

Discount retailer, Giant Tiger, will be closing its locations at 1441 Main Street and 305 McPhillips Street on July 3 and July 31, respectively.

When Sobeys took over Safeway in 2013, they were forced to divest some stores to get federal approval. One of the Safeways sold was at 1441 Main Street. Red River Co-op decided it was a good time to get back into the grocery market and picked up some of those locations, such as Grant Park and the Main Street location.

Things seemed to be going well with Red River Co-op, but then managers indicated that the landlord did not renew their lease and, lo and behold, Giant Tiger was the new tenant. Red River was so perturbed that they set up a stand-alone Co-op pharmacy in the building next door, which remains to this day.

It is being reported that Giant Tiger is looking to close the same store they fought so hard to get on Main Street this July. Also to be closed is the long-time Giant Tiger at 305 McPhillips. This might be part of a cleanup following the purchase of the franchises of the North West Company, which owned Giant Tiger stores in western Canada. The corporate re-purchase could also have nothing to do with this; it could be that the security of the stores is in question and that the company feels they can’t make money there anymore. The point is we will not know. However, what will happen is that Giant Tiger will go from 10 stores down to 8, and Main will lose a grocery store that many people use.

Will Red River Co-op be first in line to go for the property again? Or will the grocer even trust the landlord after this experience? They have kept the pharmacy on Main even after all this time. It seems terribly unfair to this part of Main Street that they keep losing retailers. Perhaps we will get some clarity as to the reason.

The other location at 305 McPhillips has been in place for a long time. Is security there an issue as well? Who knows? Some stores in this city are under siege. Food Fare is constantly having difficulties. Staff and customers are getting hurt.

This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations

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