Sign of the Times

Sobeys at 4703 – 50 Street home of new Co-op grocery store
    
    Mr. Allan Halter, Manager of Wetaskiwin Co-op, will be getting another set of keys on April 22nd, 2014 when the former Sobeys store at 4703 – 50 Street becomes the new Co-op grocery store. Halter is looking forward to this new challenge. After 5 years of managing and growing the Wetaskiwin Co-op, he can now put his 25 years of experience in the food retail business into good use to launch the new store. 
    In the original deal with Safeway announced last June, 2013, Nova Scotia-based Sobeys purchased 213 stores.  Sobeys was required to sell 23 stores as part of an agreement with the Competition Bureau in connection with its $5.8 billion purchase of Canada Safeway. Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), has entered into an agreement to purchase 14 food stores from Sobey’s Inc.  Sobeys at 4703 – 50 Street in Wetaskiwin will become Wetaskiwin Co-op and Sobeys at 5421 – 50 Street in Leduc will become Leduc Co-op. Wetaskiwin Co-op will be taking over about $700K in inventory from Sobeys. 
    Halter explains how 2 key concerns were put to rest quickly. “Sobeys staff will not be required to apply for a job with the new Wetaskiwin Co-op grocery store. We gave all Sobeys employees an offer-of- employment so they don’t have to compete for jobs or seniority.”
    The second concern expressed by the Board with the pending purchase was would it impact equity payments made to members. “The deal we have made ensures there will be no impact on equity payments.”  
    Although the Co-op looks like any other local business the stores are owned by Co-op members. Savings generated by the Co-op are returned to member-owners, proportionate to the amount purchased from the Co-op during the year. Wetaskiwin Co-op returned more than $2.3 Million dollars to members in cash in 2013 and in the last five years the Wetaskiwin Co-op has returned $5 Million in cash to its members. A $10.00 lifetime membership fee allows members to share in ownership and the disposition of surpluses from the sale of goods and services.
    The transition following the change in ownership on April 22nd is expected to have minimal impact on operations.  “We plan to hit the ground running when April 22nd happens. If we are down a day that would be max. That is our initial goal. There will be some disruption to customers as systems change (check out equipment) but it will be short term pain for long term gain. We have looked at all our exterior and interior signs and other cosmetic changes and believe that we can do most of that work at night.”
.
The Co-op way back when

    The first settlers to the Wetaskiwin region envisioned a store that they could rely on for their every need.  At that time they needed commodities like salt, flour, sugar, apples, feed, seed grain, and binder twine.  In the beginning, the bulk of the business was conducted on a railway spur at the box car door.  Local members were notified that their supplies had arrived and farmers would call at the box car to pick up their orders and sometimes their neighbours' orders as well.

Co-op serves rural and urban customers

    The new facilities and the many achievements of the Wetaskiwin Co-op would be an impressive awe-inspiring site for the old-timers to see. Since the purposeful beginning in 1917 the Wetaskiwin Co-op has evolved and now offers over 50,000 items and approximately $2B in inventory. Rural and urban customers alike, have access to the home centre, a huge building supplies facility, garden centre, bulk petroleum operations, hardware, tools, gifts, clothing, and flooring…. and now groceries in the former Sobeys building. 
        Halter is optimistic about the new grocery store. “It’s another brand of food chain. It will bring new brands of product, a new brand of service and generally a new level of value to the community. We will carry a very high standard in cleanliness, service and product quality.  We pride ourselves on staff training and just listening to people. There is not a great profit margin in food retail so really these are the features we can be competitive in.” 
    As peoples' needs changed over the years, so has the Co-op.

More Stories:
  • Alberta Farm Days 2014 Discover Alberta’s culinary treasures during the second annual Alberta Open Farm Days, August 23 and 24. “From farm visits for the whole family, to one-of-a-kind culinary experience for foodies, Open Farm Days is a great ...
  • Odysseo By Cavalia – The ‘Fusion’ Show It’s almost impossible to describe the show Odysseo by Cavalia that is taking place in Edmonton, without personally experiencing this unique theatrical performance. It’s not a horse show, although 64 horses participate. It’s ...
  • Making Dreams Come True Imagine for a moment sitting in the front of a race car, feeling the heat of the engine and the roar of the horsepower as it carries you across the finish line in first place. The inner track is filled with other drivers ...
  • I-Robot Arrives In Leduc! On Thursday, July 17th, 2014 two robots arrived at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) on their way to K-Days. For an hour FURO-D and her younger more versatile sister, FURO-S, demonstrated their capabilities to the ...
  • Alberta Prairie Classroom On Wheels (C.O.W. Bus) When did you learn how to read? At the Centre for family Literacy, we believe that literacy development begins at birth. Our homes are our first schools and our families are our first teachers. When children see family members ...
  • Millet And Area Mourns The Passing Of A Giant Submitted by Brenda Jackson Communities are made up of wonderful people, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of one we called ours for many years - Laurence ‘Laurie’ Linaker. If I could describe Laurie in just a couple ...
  • $17,578 Grant Awarded To Warburg Ag Society On Monday, July 14, Honourable Diana McQueen, Minister of Energy and MLA for Drayton Valley-Devon, met with Warburg Agricultural Society President Les Nemeth and Ag Society member Treasa Nemeth at the constituency office. ...
  • Stage 7 Of Southfork Set To Go The next phase of development in Southfork will see the long-awaited second entrance put in. During the City of Leduc’s June 14 council meeting, manager of Current Planning and Development Carol Hampton said the second access ...
  • Bike Night Raising Funds For Great Causes Terry Evans of Edmonton Classic Rock Station K-97 hosts, “Bike Night” each Tuesday night at Blackjack’s Roadhouse in Nisku, Alberta. Each week Bike Night raises funds for a charitable cause through the Poker Run and Charity ...
  • Canada’s Amelia Earhart Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic and we all know about her ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Earhart inspired hundreds of women to become airplane pilots and instill in ...
  • Heimdal Walk For Global Care Heimdal Community Church, located east and a little south of Leduc, held its 39th Walk-A-Thon for Global Care with 77 walkers participating. All of the $70,000 raised by the walkers, plus any additional donations so dedicated, ...
  • RCMP Musical Ride Coming To Leduc The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will bring the Musical Ride to Amberlea Meadows on July 25th and 26th for Leduc and area residents. This will be the Ride’s second visit to Amberlea Meadows, as they demonstrated their ...
  • New Fibre Optic Cables Set To Increase Internet Speed Throughout Wetaskiwin Beginning this summer, TELUS will be connecting more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Wetaskiwin directly to fibre optic cables. This build – which comes at no cost to the municipality or its residents – will bring ...
  • Ma-Me-O Beach Legion Branch Funds Local Reading Program Submitted by Patrick Miller Every summer the Lakedale and Area Community Library Society is involved in a reading program for the children at the Pigeon Lake Public Library in Ma-Me-O Beach Alberta. Royal Canadian Legion ...
  • Jazzy Week In Wetaskiwin Music was the focus for 12 youth (day session) and 8 adults (evening session for 16+) every day from July 6th to 11th at the Grace Lutheran Church in Wetaskiwin. The Church was the venue for the 6th annual Wetaskiwin Jazz ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia