In March of this year, Loblaws announced that it would build 50 new stores and renovate 100 more, at a cost of $1.2 billion, in 2015. In July, Loblaws announced that it would close 52 “consistently unprofitable” stores over the next twelve months. The 52 closures are not exclusively food stores, but include “gas bars, Joe Fresh stand alone stores and select pharmacies and grocery stores”.
The expansions and renovations in 2015 are estimated to create 5,000 jobs. The number of people affected by the closures is not disclosed. Nor are the locations disclosed. In any given year, 10 to 15 Loblaws-owned stores, in various formats, are closed, out of a total “inventory” of 2,300 stores.
Much of Loblaws is unionized, at least in the grocery stores. Always wonder whether it is possible to offer a business for purchase by a union, or with union funds, as an option to closure. Have written about this previously. Loblaws has a franchise operation: Your Independent Grocer. Would it be possible for a Loblaws store, otherwise closed, to be turned into a union-financed Your Independent Grocer?
Turns out there is a long history of worker buyouts of businesses that would otherwise be closed. However, longer-term employee ownership, or harmonious employee ownership appears to be comparatively smaller.
Still, as an option…