Thrifty Foods warehouse on Butler Road in the Keating industrial area of Central Saanich will be shutting down this fall. The decision was announced internally to employees in February.
“The exact date isn’t determined at this time because it will depend on the plan to wind down operations at Butler. We want to make sure we’re not impacting any of our service to Thrifty Food stores and that the transition happens in an orderly fashion,” said Cynthia Thompson.
For a year, the company has been looking at ways to operate more efficiently, which Thompson, Director of Communications for Sobey’s in Calgary, said is of course key in the grocery business.
“So we were looking at the network of warehouses, we call them retail support centres in western Canada and province by province, market by market, looking at ways we could really work more effectively to ensure the same great service to stores, but be as efficient as possible,” she told the PNR.
Thompson said there is never a decision in one place that doesn’t impact the overall network of warehouses. And with a team of corporate drivers and routes needing to be assessed, tons of data and analysis goes into it she continued.
“At this point, given where we are, with the distribution network that we have, we saw an opportunity to work just a bit more effectively, a bit more efficiently.”
Right now, between 30 and 35 people work in the warehouse at the Butler location, which she said is on the smaller side of some of their warehouse operations, but this doesn’t mean the situation will be treated any differently.
Current employees will be kept up to date as the plan proceeds, and human resources teams will work with the employees, talking about potential opportunities.
“Our first priority whenever we make a decision like this is the people and it’s a fairly large organization so there may well be deployment opportunities into the Victoria Airport warehouse (Thrifty Foods Warehouse),” said Thompson.
Employees will be consistently supported through the difficult transition and could potentially work at other warehouses and stores as well.
No official date has been set for the closing.