200 jobs lost as Federated Co-operatives Ltd. shuts down Calgary operation
CALGARY — Grocery supplier Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) will be shutting down its Calgary food distribution centre and laying off at least 200 staff members locally.
The move was announced Thursday morning but comes several months after Calgary Co-op announced it would switch grocery suppliers from FCL to Save-On-Foods.
The supply change will happen in April 2020 and will mean no Calgary stores will get its food supply from FCL. In July, Co-op said the switch will “better serve members and ensure long-term sustainability.”
The job losses and distribution centre shutdown will happen in the spring.
“We’re deeply saddened by this avoidable development,” said FCL executive vice-president Vic Huard.
“In a city that is already experiencing significant economic challenges, Calgary Co-op’s decision has led to more jobs being lost and more families facing challenges,” he said.
Calgary Co-op said the decision to switch suppliers will have minimal impact for members, but the retailer hopes to bring in more local products to its stores.
"We live in this difficult economy, (with) ongoing competitive issues in food. And as you know, food is a razor-thin margin business," said Ken Keelor, Calgary Co-op's CEO.
"We really need to make sure we stay viable, that we are here to serve our members."
FCL is based in Saskatoon but has operations all over Western Canada, including a large distribution centre in Calgary.
Save-On-Foods is part of the Overwaitea Food Group based in B.C., though Co-op said its food supply will come from the Alberta- based arm of the company.
Co-op’s High River location will continue to receive its supply from FCL along with gasoline and convenience store products.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.