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Really sorry to hear that the BC family owned Thrifty Foods has sold their 30-40 stores on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to Sobey's Sobey's Store I believe Sobey's is connected to IGA ?

I think Thrifty Foods is the best grocery chain out there and am always sorry they don’t have stores in Vancouver. When on Vancouver Island and on Salt Spring I always shop there and love that they have so many products from local farms and regional suppliers in their stores. In fact, they often have one farm supplying them in one area, like Mitchell Farms in Sanich, and up Island will use another farmer.

Sobey's is a "Back East" chain so I don't know it, I only know that Urban Fare, who is owned by IGA currently has Mexican and California fruit and vegetable filling their shelves. Not only do they not have local farmers products, they don't even have Canadian Fruit and Veg!

Cate Simpson

Les Dames d'Escoffier International

www.ldei.org

www.lesdames.ca

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Really sorry to hear that the BC family owned Thrifty Foods has sold their 30-40 stores on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to Sobey's Sobey's Store I believe Sobey's is connected to IGA?

Aaaugh! I hadn't read the Victoria Times-Colonist yet today... but after seeing your posting, I checked online, and - sigh - you're absolutely right.

My only local grocery is a Thrifty's store, and I absolutely love it. Aside from the local produce, I really appreciate that they are good corporate citizens - donating generously to various local causes. You can count on seeing their name as a donor or sponsor at any number of local events and fundraisers.

Hopefully the sale won't result in any big changes. Thrifty Foods is wonderful exactly as it is.

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Mitchell Farms in Sanich, and up Island will use another farmer. 

Sobey's is a "Back East" chain so I don't know it, I only know that Urban Fare, who is owned by IGA currently has Mexican and California fruit and vegetable filling their shelves. Not only do they not have local farmers products, they don't even have Canadian Fruit and Veg!

I believe UF is owned by Overwaitea Foods. Some more info on Sobey's here.

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I am not arb but the press release seems to tell it all:

http://www.thriftyfoods.com/ourcompany/mdr...srl_070716.html

I am sure those out there that read tea leaves better than I do can shed a little light on what the press release "really" says. I do agree, it is very sad to see the little, sort of speak, guys get gobbled up. I guess that is the price of growth.

officially left egullet....

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Awww, c'mon. Quit the crying. One quarter of a *billion* dollars for the family business? I say sell. Cash in! Enjoy it while you can. That buys your great-great-grandkids a lot of stuff.

Besides, at least his employees have a pension plan now, and I bet he throws one hell of a going away party. :)

-- Matt.

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Yes you are right - from the owner's perspective it makes good sense. No doubt I would do the same kind of thing if I were in Alex Campbell's shoes.

But from my own selfish perspective I don't think that it is a good thing for the people I care about who shop regularly at Thrifty stores.

Awww, c'mon.  Quit the crying.  One quarter of a *billion* dollars for the family business?  I say sell.  Cash in!  Enjoy it while you can.  That buys your great-great-grandkids a lot of stuff.

Besides, at least his employees have a pension plan now, and I bet he throws one hell of a going away party.  :)

-- Matt.

Cheers,

Anne

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But from my own selfish perspective I don't think that it is a good thing for the people I care about who shop regularly at Thrifty stores.   

Why? The owner of Sobeys has already stated that the name (Thrifty's) isn't changing. Is there something evil about Sobey's? Is there something else you're concerned about?

Just wonderin'

A.

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According to an article in my local paper today, which I'm sure is something that ran in your local papers, (if you happen to subscribe to the Winnipeg Free Press), Thrifty stores will maintain their brand and operate as a separate, stand alone division of Sobeys.

"Having strong local management teams that are close to the market and understand the competition, understand the consumer and understand the competitive dynamics is key to our success," McEwan said.

"It has been critical for Thrifty to grow and thrive on particularly Vancouver Island, so we have absolutely no intention of changing."

"More recently, we have come to the realization that if we want to continue as the market leader, then we must commit to a new era of growth," Campbell said.

"I am very pleased to find, in Sobeys, a company that is committed to the long-term growth and success of Thrifty Foods."

Most of the local IGAs have become Sobeys over the last few years and I like them.

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But from my own selfish perspective I don't think that it is a good thing for the people I care about who shop regularly at Thrifty stores.   

Why? The owner of Sobeys has already stated that the name (Thrifty's) isn't changing. Is there something evil about Sobey's? Is there something else you're concerned about?

Just wonderin'

A.

New owners always say things are not changing. Then they change. I don't have any particular view on Sobey's. I pretty much agree with this comment in the Sun article today:

Mark Colgate, associate dean at the University of Victoria's school of business, said it doesn't make sense for a company to buy another without wanting to have an influence on its operations.

"Of course they will say that, but over time, as they get folded into the new company and bring their people in to change a few things around, which they always do, then trying to maintain that same [corporate culture] will be difficult," he said. "And as you grow, which I imagine is one of the main reasons for selling out, then of course maintaining that culture becomes even more difficult."

Of course it is possible that the changes will result in stores that are even better when viewed from my perspective. Call me a pessimist.

Cheers,

Anne

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I've shopped at both Sobey's (in Calgary) and of course Thrifty Foods. In my humble opinion, they seem like a good marriage... alot of similarities between the stores with unique products, personal touch and a persistent resistance the completely pathetic and useless appeal to the large grocers. Shopping at the Superstore, Safeway and at times Overwaitea is most frequently dissappointing at best but that's a sidetrack...

The merged store might not be a Stongs or a Meinhardts but hey, I'll continue to shop at Throbeys.

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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According to an article in my local paper today, which I'm sure is something that ran in your local papers, (if you happen to subscribe to the Winnipeg Free Press), Thrifty stores will maintain their brand and operate as a separate, stand alone division of Sobeys.
"Having strong local management teams that are close to the market and understand the competition, understand the consumer and understand the competitive dynamics is key to our success," McEwan said.

"It has been critical for Thrifty to grow and thrive on particularly Vancouver Island, so we have absolutely no intention of changing."

"More recently, we have come to the realization that if we want to continue as the market leader, then we must commit to a new era of growth," Campbell said.

"I am very pleased to find, in Sobeys, a company that is committed to the long-term growth and success of Thrifty Foods."

Most of the local IGAs have become Sobeys over the last few years and I like them.

I agree Sobeys is a reasonable grocery store...not perfect but quite nice for produce and canned goods. I use a bulk food store for a lot of stuff and a butcher for meat...but Sobeys has a good selection of fresh seasonal produce. Not a great place for cheese though...but most grocery chains aren't. While if in a rush you good get everything for a complete meal there, other stores carry better meats and cheeses...Costco carries a nicer selection of meat and you can get something cut or modified on site...So I prefer Costco or a butcher for meats. And for cheese I go to place d'nardi excuse my poor spelling.

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I've been quite happy shopping at Thriftys in Coquitlam..another is being built in Port Moody. I hope they don't change too much. The meat dept. actually has aged beef and cuts you don't find at Safeway. They are SUPER friendly too! (If you like that kind of thing) Anyway they need customers so check it out.

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I've been quite happy shopping at Thriftys in Coquitlam..another is being built in Port Moody.

Where in Port Moody?

A.

Corner of Ioco and Murray Streets in a new master planned community called "Suter Brook"

Cheers,

Anne

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My concern is that Scobey’s does not have the reputation as Thrifty’s (who do practice this) of "buying heavily from local farmers and producers such as seafood producer Finest At Sea of James Bay", as the Vancouver Sun points out. I love that when I am in the Sannich store I am buying dairy products from a local dairy, veg and pork from another and I really like that they have an amazing selection of food suitable to their market - In Sidney, the home of every retired ex-pat it would seem, including my folks, they stock all sorts of wonderful Scottish and English foods that you can't find in other stores. Kippers, steak and kidney pies, melton Mowbray, Piccalilly, bread and butter pickles, Keens mustard, - all the stuff the Brits love! I know it’s wonderful for the Campbell’s that they and their family have made so much money from the business, and I can’t fault them for selling at all. I just hope that the new owners keep the same suppliers and the same values as the Campbell’s had.

Cate Simpson

Les Dames d'Escoffier International

www.ldei.org

www.lesdames.ca

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I'm not saying that you shouldn't worry about Thrifty changing, but if it helps at all, in my experience, Sobeys does take it's local population into account. They seem to realize that what sells in one market may not work in another. In Thornhill, Ont., and the south end of Winnipeg they've done a great job of stocking kosher items, being in areas with large Jewish populations. They sell completely different lines in other stores in the same cities. If there is a demand for Scottish and English foods, they would be smart to continue stocking them.

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I've been quite happy shopping at Thriftys in Coquitlam..another is being built in Port Moody.

Where in Port Moody?

A.

Corner of Ioco and Murray Streets in a new master planned community called "Suter Brook"

and the one in Coq. is at Austin and Mariner

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At the Global Warming Forum a speaker from Thrifty's explain how they purchase produce from local farms. The interpersonal professionalism and respect between the two is something that can get lost in larger businesses. I hope this does not happen.

For example, if a farmer has a small crop of strawberries due to bad weather, Thrifty's is willing to buy from the farmer at a decent price and pass it on to the consumer. Now, this may not sound good for you and me but the farmer has to maintain a living to ensure future (successful) crops which you and I will enjoy. Supporting local farmers is an important aspect of Thrifty's which I admire.

Thrifty's still does bring in imports but special attention is given to local farmers to appease customers who believe in sustainable eating. There are other factors for supporting local produce which I'm sure has been discussed already.

I have not shopped at Thrifty's but only heard of good things about customer service and quality of products. The only other place I get this from is from Stongs.

Hopefully, the buyout will allow Thrifty's to expand to Vancouver and service and quality will be maintained.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I heard today that one condition of the sale to Sobey's is that the new owners will give Thrifty employees a decent pension plan. Evidently the Thrifty chain had been too small (?) to put together a pension plan for its staff. If this is true, it's evidence that the erstwhile owner really did keep the welfare of his employees on his mind when he made the sale.

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