November 24, 2017
Sobeys, who owns Safeway and is Canada's largest grocer, is closing 5 regional businesses (hubs) in a re-organization into one huge business. 800 folks lose their jobs. They are removing the extra expense of having regional businesses supporting local brick and mortar stores, with the goal of being one huge company, focused on boosting home delivery and e-comerce instead. It will be more efficient they say, and save millions of dollars for the company. The future is e-commerce they say.
Are we looking at a future where the trip to the grocery store is a virtual experience only, all by yourself with your computer in your house? Are we really choosing that? Are we really too busy to participate in our local economies?
It does not seem that gaining efficiencies by laying off hundreds of employees and closing regional infrastructure translates into any better future for working people: probably better returns for people like Galen Weston, just named the 3rd most wealthy man in Canada. It does not translate into healthier food or better prices. It does not translate into local jobs. It does not create community or a local sustainable food supply. It removes the human experience of actually interacting with people. It sucks money out of local communities and eliminates work opportunities.
We vote with our dollars every day. Let's think about it.