June 26 Grocery chain Sobeys Inc
plans to close its underperforming stores and lay off employees
after its C$5.8 billion acquisition of rival Safeway Inc's
Canadian arm, the Global and Mail reported on Wednesday.
"After the acquisition of Safeway, we did a thorough review
of our store network across the country ... We identified a
number of underperforming stores and we have made the decision
to close those stores," Sobeys spokesman Andrew Walker told the
Sobeys, owned by Empire Co Ltd, is expected to
close about 50 to 60 stores, the Canadian newspaper reported,
citing industry sources.
Reuters could not immediately reach Sobeys for comment
outside regular business hours.
The company cemented its position as Canada's No. 2 grocer
with the acquisition of Safeway Canada, which added C$1.62
billion to Empire's total sales in the third quarter.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp have
expanded in Canada over the past year, challenging Canadian
retailers such as Loblaw Cos Ltd and Empire.
Empire is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on
(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by