Kelowna FreshCo opening next week; Vernon store sees delays - InfoNews

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Kelowna FreshCo opening next week; Vernon store sees delays

Image Credit: FACEBOOK / FreshCo
April 29, 2020 - 3:15 PM

Kelowna's newest supermarket, FreshCo, is scheduled to open next week, while the Vernon store looks at a possible June opening.

FreshCo told the Kelowna store was expected to open May 7.

Both the downtown Vernon Safeway and Kelowna's Dilworth Centre Safeway closed their doors last November so construction could commence for them to both be reopened as FreshCo stores.

FreshCo didn't confirm a possible opening date for the downtown Vernon store, however, City staff told Vernon council at its April 27 meeting, from what they knew the Vernon FreshCo store was slated to open in June. Originally, Sobey's who own both Safeway and FreshCo had said they hoped to open the Vernon store in early spring.

"Our new FreshCo will also help meet an immediate community need for more shopping options, lightening the burden on other grocery locations in the area," FreshCo said in a statement. "We believe now more than ever, FreshCo’s low prices and diverse product offering will help customers in Kelowna make every dollar count."

The closing of the downtown Vernon Safeway store was met with fierce criticism from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

The union said Safeway workers who opt to stay working at the FreshCo store would see a major pay cut as the two stores had drastically different collective agreements, even though the supermarkets are owned by the same parent company.

In June 2019, the union said only 25 per cent of FreshCo employees will be able to keep their Safeway contracts if they qualify and other employees will be given several options: Transfer to another Safeway store; depending on the length of service and seniority some staff will be offered severance pay, or take a one-time payment and then work for FreshCo on a new contract for less pay.

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